last wednesday was a day for shoes. from flats to heels. from day to evening. from casual to formal. from low-end to high-end. from imported to local. from mass-produced to made-to-measure. we're talking about how we went from havaianas to gaupo in one night. the flagship store of havaianas (and reportedly the biggest) called all flip-flops is now open at city center, which has been re-named bonifacio high street (same place where krispy kreme is). full disclosure: we must be the only ones in the world who don't own a pair of havaianas. we admit, when we first heard about the brazilian brand coming into the philippines, we never in a million years would have predicted its crazy-wild success. in a country where tsinelas is pambahay and, as jessica zafra likes to say, for killing random ipis, and more often than not, not allowed in certain snooty, snobby establishments! (our friend was once stopped by a security guard from entering a bazaar because he was in tsinelas! a bazaar! that was selling flip-flops! and he was in havaianas!) well, we was wrong, and the havaianas craze sees no signs of waning. we've seen people queued up outside the tiny all flip-flops store in glorietta 3, especially during sales, with bouncers controlling the crowd with velvet ropes. the new store is spacious and nicely designed, but we do have a question: why are the rubber slippers encased in glass? maybe it's just us, but the only time you put things behind glass is if they are made of diamonds or if they are ancient egyptian relics that will be ruined if touched by oily human hands. customers need to be able to pick up the merchandise, feel it in their hands (or in this case, in their feet), inspect it, and take their time doing so without a sales associate hovering. but there's a secret space in between the glass shelves where the different designs and sizes are hung. then it was on to the launch of cesar gaupo's line of couture shoes. cesar gaupo is one of the country's most respected designers, and until recently was the creative director of shanghai tang. held at the peninsula manila's conservatory, there was much drama at the unveiling where all the lights were turned off and it was so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of you. when the lights went on, there were tableaux all over the place with human mannequins wearing cesar gaupo's clothes and shoes, and the shoes were gor-gee-yous! but really it was hard to choose between the clothes and the shoes (which ones do you like?)... so these aren't shoes you buy off the rack. these are made-to-measure shoes. cesar told us that the cheapest pair would probably cost about P15,000, depending on the material, and with heels no less than four inches. and just like any expensive made-to-measure gown, you have to have at least two fittings. the shop is located at the basement arcade of the peninsula manila. and the business is now owned by the owners of maldita, emelda and eric teng.
(cesar) + (the tengs) = kaching! kaching!