he infamous ugg boots have become an Australian icon over the years. Ugg boots are a style of sheep skin boots that are made with twin-faced sheep skin; fleece coats the inside and a tanned outer surface covers the shoe. Initially ugg boots were worn by Australian surfers in the 1960s to keep themselves warm. Later on, in the 1970s ugg boots were introduced in the United States and United Kingdom to the growing surf culture. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that ugg boots began to be recognised as a fashion trend. Previously there have been legal disputes surrounding the term ‘ugg’, which were put to end when ‘ugg’ was recognised as a more generic term to refer to these sheep skin boots. Currently there are over 70 registered trademarks that have the term ‘ugg’ in a number of logos and designs in Australia and New Zealand.
Ugg boots are not only popular as a fashion icon but are also brilliantly designed to keep the feet warm. Sheep skin has natural insulate properties that give the boots specific thermal properties. This simply means that the thick fleece coating the inner part of ugg boots absorbs moisture (perspiration) and allows air to circulate. This ensures that feet stay at body temperature and allows the boots to keep feet warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. This is why ugg boots are so suitable to Australian weather as well, as there is both extreme heat and chilly winters. The thick fleece inside also moulds to the shape of one’s foot, making them highly comfortable. Some have described this feeling as ‘walking with a soft rug strapped to my foot’.
It’s apparent that ugg boots are one of the most comfortable foot wear out there, but they aren’t just popular for this sole reason. Ugg boots, as mentioned above, were initially introduced by the surf culture in Australia; however, they are now part of mainstream fashion. From the average fashion enthusiast to top celebrities, it seems that everyone is jumping on the ugg boot bandwagon! A plethora of styles and colours are available. However anyone who has purchased ugg boots will admit that they’re worth the money retailers charge for them and it is warranted with the amount of comfort these shoes have to offer, not to mention their longevity
Can Alexa Chung make fake Ugg cool again? Chung has been hired as artistic director for a new photo shoot for the label. And the brand – forever associated with the fag end of early 00s celebrity culture – is clearly hoping Chung can sprinkle the same magic pixie dust that she did for Marks & Spencer.
sale Ugg have been attempting to make their way out of TMZ infamy and associations with Britney in recent years with celebrity associations. Hailey Baldwin modelled in a campaign and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was appointed as the women’s ambassador. Chung, for her part, has publicly called Uggs “a classic, something along the lines of a Barbour jacket”. Yet still the stigma remains, not to mention their appearance: a soft, large and lumbering Yeti foot that’s the exact opposite of the streamlined silhouette that has come to define women’s shoes. But there’s a change afoot.
The news that sales of trainers had overtaken that of high heels (37% of women bought trainers compared to the 33% who bought shoes with a heel) and that Birkenstock was the most searched-for shoe on Google in the summer, perfect Ugg a shift away from glamour and towards utility and practicality. Street style celebrities and members of the Frow wore classic Old Skool Vans trainers during fashion week, while on the actual catwalk a high proportion of “ugly” shoes dominated. Christopher Kane, whose theme was Make, Do and Mend, featured Crocs at his London show decorated with precious stones such as sodalite, red leopard, malachite, diaspro and zebra Jasper. While Maison Margiela featured an elevated hiking sandal featuring velcro straps and multicoloured patchwork. Additionally, both Rick Owens and Balenciaga took the boot shape and reworked it: Owens created a Muppet-like crushed boot, while a feature of the Balenciaga collection was pointed boots featuring a strong line of fabric .
But why are ugly shoes making a comeback? The boundaries of what is considered tasteful or not are constantly shifting season to season with a movement towards the geeky () and normcore extreme (). With that, the shoe detail has become a calling card for designers copy Ugg express their humour and their rejection of traditional tastefulness. As famously said: “We need a splash of bad taste … no taste is what I’m against.”
Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma show featured a raised trainer in baby pinks and whites, recalling Baby Spice’s moonboot platforms. While platform heels – the uncool 70s throwback associated with early Abba – were also present at the Sacai and shows.