Did you know that rubber thongs originated in Japan?
In 1952, the world’s first modern rubber thongs were created.
The inspiration for these thongs came from Italian-American industrial designer Ray Pastine, who was fascinated by traditional Japanese footwear called “草履 (Zori)”.
Finally, after a long search, he met Japanese rubber engineer, Syohei Ikuta.
Ikuta adapted the patented closed-cell rubber technology from local Kobe company “Naigai Rubber Industry” to Pastine’s Italian-styled, symmetrical sole print.
This closed-cell rubber technology was originally developed as a bulletproof shield for fighter aircraft fuel tanks, but Pastine and Ikuta had other ideas.
Detailed adjustments were implemented to the original design to achieve better foot comfort and style, and in 1955, Pastine and Ikuta’s “Blue-dia” was introduced to the Japanese market.
Fast-forward more than 60 years to today, and Blue-dia is still manufactured using Pastine and Ikuta’s simple-yet-sophisticated design. Blue-dia has also maintained its reputation for high-quality thongs made from natural rubber.
With 10 different colours for the soles and straps, you can create more than 100 different colour combinations!
– Attributes of Blue-dia –
- Remarkable durability and comfort
- Great colour combinations
- Simple and sophisticated design
- Tapered sole design – Easy to walk in
- Made from quality virgin natural rubber
- Traditional Japanese strap design (High arched and straw rope patterns)
👣World's first industrialised natural rubber thongs (flip-flops) born in Japan in 1955
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