96945.jpgGenerally speaking, the no-shirt-no-shoes-no-service policy should be implemented in finer restaurants. We made an exception, however, for last night's unveiling of Michael Bastian's collaboration with Havaianas at SoHo's swanky Lure Fishbar. A few shirtless models studded the room as fashionable types including Andrew Mukamal and our own Peter Davis circulated at the kickoff for the Bergdorf-menswear-director-turned-designer's line of unisex flip flops. Inspired by motifs prominently featured in his Spring 2011 Mens collection, Bastian's four limited-edition styles range from subtle olive and navy camouflage leopard patterns to bold yellow and orange diver prints. They're now available on the Havaianas website for $38. Here, we chat with Bastian about the collection and what else he has on tap in the coming months.

How did this collaboration come about?
Havaianas contacted us because they noticed on our website that we were using their flip flops a lot in our shows. I think every Spring show we've ever had at least one pair of Havaianas in there mainly because I love them and because sometimes when we're doing our show looks we'll say "what's the right shoe for that look?" and the answer sometimes is no shoe. Havaianas are the closest thing you can get to being barefoot, and it's just perfect in its minimalism.

The flip-flop always been sort of a controversial shoe. Some people are absolutely disgusted by them and some think they're a necessary warm weather staple.
It's a tricky shoe and it's a bit of a lightning rod. People have very strong opinions about it. I feel like it's less to do with the flip-flop and more to do with people's emotional feelings about men showing their feet, but the main rule is if you're gonna wear a flip-flop, you've gotta keep your feet in good shape. Even if that means a full-on pedicure, you gotta do it. Wearing flip-flops is a privilege, not a right.

What else are you looking forward to this summer?
I have no plans other this summer aside from getting our business back on the ground. We took a season off and we're relaunching with spring '12, so the summer is pretty full. We start selling the collection in Milan in June and New York in July, and then we have our show in New York in September, so there's my summer!

Photo: Billy Farrell Agency
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