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Havaianas Opens Custom Flip-Flop Shop in Meatpacking District

 Customers at the Havaianas store that opened Thursday, May 30, 2013 can design their own summer sandals.
Havaianas Pop-Up on Gansevoort Street
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MEATPACKING DISTRICT — Just in time for the first heat wave of the summer, Brazilian sandal company Havaianas opened a breezy pop-up store on Gansevoort Street Thursday — featuring everything from design-your-own flip-flops to Swarovski-studded sandals for brides.

Packed with more than 1,000 pairs of bright, foam-soled footwear, the 1,200-square-foot store — the company's only outpost outside Brazil — features a make-your-own flip-flop station.

Sandal seekers can choose a sole color and strap color to create the shoe ($25 for adults, $21 for children) and then add decorative pins available with tiny letters of the alphabet, hearts and New York icons including a yellow cab ($2.50 to 6.50 each).

Store staff said they expect to serve stiletto-wearers looking for a better way to navigate the area's characteristic cobblestones.

"We have exceptionally comfortable footwear that let the feet breathe, which is great if you're uncomfortable," a manager at the 74 Gansevoort St. store said Thursday. "With the cobblestones here, it can be safer to wear flip-flops."

Flip-flops at the shop, which features with bamboo trees and a large skylight, range from $18 for plain models to $200 the "top luminous" design for brides, studded with Swarovski crystals.

Customer Meggie Muyot, a 27-year-old banker visiting from San Francisco, picked up a pair of gold flip-flops with an ankle strap for relief from her flat, cushion-free sandals.

"Those are cute, but they were getting uncomfortable in the heat," she said. "I needed something different."

The shop is set to stay open through September 3.