Havaianas makes NFT debut with artist Adhemas Batista
Iconic Brazilian flipflop brand Havaianas has made its first foray into NFTs with São Paulo-born, Los Angeles-based artist Adhemas Batista, who has created five digital art pieces commemorating his relationship with the company.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens – digital assets connected to a block chain certifying that they are unique and therefore not interchangeable – have made for big headlines over the past few months. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey auctioned off his first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million in March, while Sotheby’s sold an NFT by artist Pak for $16 million in April.
Now, Havaianas, which is owned by São Paulo-based Alpargatas, has launched its own NFTs, which are being sold during a 24-hour auction hosted at Foundation.app/Havaianas on May 12, 2021.
Presented under the general title “Felicidade” (“Happiness” in Portuguese), the colorful NFT collection created by Batista for Havaianas includes pieces called “Happy Feet,” “A Step to Happiness,” “Happy Citizen,” “Happy Spring,” and “Happy Heels.”
7% of the profits from the auction of the pieces will go to Favela Galeria, an open-air art museum in an underprivileged neighborhood on the east side of São Paulo. This project was chosen by Batista, who will also donate part of his payment to the gallery.
The artist has been collaborating with Havaianas for more than 15 years, having first worked with the brand when he was still a designer at an advertising agency. One of the styles that he created continues to inspire the company’s shape creation and collection design teams today.
“Our intention was to enter the [NFT] conversation in an authentic way, and art is part of the
history of this brand,” explained Alpargatas CMO Fernanda Romano in a release. “For more than twenty years we have collaborated with artists and graphic designers, whether as a canvas (through prints on product) or in our advertising works, which are recognized and celebrated worldwide. But we wanted to tell a story, a good one at that, and that’s why we thought about Adhemas.”
“Working for Havaianas in the early 2000s gave me a lot of visibility then and allowed me to grow professionally,” added Batista. “Revisiting my history with Havaianas, with all the things that I experienced – which ultimately allowed me to come to Los Angeles and settle here – really makes me feel happy, and that is why I chose this theme. The pieces tell important moments of my personal and professional life and the relationship with Havaianas, and how these stories are intertwined.”
Although they are the brand’s NFT debut, Batista’s artworks are not Havaianas’ first flirtation with digital media. Earlier this month, the company teamed up with popular online battle royale game Fortnite for a phygital collaboration featuring both physical products and digital, in-game content.
Bids for Havaianas’ first NFT collection are not geographically restricted and can be submitted from around the world.
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