Fleece-lined sheepskin boots called uggs have been popular since at least World War I, when Australian fighter pilots wore the comfy footwear while flying with their British counterparts in Europe and the Middle East. In the 1930s, Australian sheep shearers favored uggs, and by the 1960s Australian surfers had discovered the rough-and-tumble boots (uggs, some say, is short for “ugly”) as the perfect antidote to cold toes after a bracing bout in the waves.
All of which made it more than a bit galling to Australian ugg-makers such as Blue Mountains, Mortel’s, and Uggs-N-Rugs when, in 2003, they received a cease-and-desist warning from a U.S. manufacturer that claimed ownership of the ugg brand. Three years later, a court ruled that the U.S. firm could, indeed, do business as UGG Australia, but that Australian boot-makers could continue to call their sheepskin boots uggs, as they had been doing for decades.
The first uggs were soft-soled, formed of two pieces of sheepskin sewn together down the center of the boot. In the 1970s, Uggs-N-Rugs added a hard sole to the shoe and a molded stitched-in heel. This is the version that is most prevalent today.
Pamela Anderson upped the ugg’s profile in the United States when she took to wearing the leg-warming footwear between takes of the television show “Baywatch.” Kate Hudson and Sienna Miller are just a few of the other actresses who have made what had been a casual man’s boot into a must-have fashion accessory for women.
In no small part, UGG Australia gets the credit for the boot’s popularization among women. One of its hottest styles is a version whose Pepto-Bismol pink New Zealand shearling fur is exposed on the boot’s exterior, with soft flannel inside to keep the feet warm.
Other examples feature elaborate, “girly” embroidery on the outsides of the boots; tall, above-the-calf versions in chocolate, tomato, or black; and horizontally striped boots made of cable-knit fabric, which look a lot like socks with rubber souls.
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Fashion Don't: UGG IndeedGulfshore Life, March 11th
They are called UGGs for a reason. When you go to the dictionary online and ask to define "ugh" it says: “used to express disgust or horror.” When you simplify to "ug" it states: "(Ugly) displeasing to the senses; Any ugly face; ugly furniture.” Thus I...Read more
UNlisted's Lauren Padilla: Hugs to Uggs, for a little while longerMassLive.com, March 7th
Nearly all of today's fashion trends barely last beyond a couple of seasons. There is, however, one major exception: Ugg boots. Somehow, the terrible line of furry footwear has managed to outlive even the most enduring styles of the last few years...Read more
Letter: 'Stolen' Uggs Actually Part of Manicure Mix-UpPatch.com, March 4th
A few weeks ago the Patch ran a story about a pair Uggs being stolen while a girl was getting a pedicure at a local Wyckoff Nail Salon. Turns out the Uggs were not stolen but inadvertently picked up by one on three young girls in a hurry to catch a movie...Read more
Why Ugg Boots Will Never Go AwayHuffington Post, March 2nd
Long derided as ugly footwear for the slovenly and trend-obsessed, Ugg boots have defeated their haters and earned a guaranteed place in the American woman's closet, tucked away until the mercury dips below freezing. You couldn't go outside this winter ...Read more
Deckers: Wear More UggsBarron's (blog), February 27th
Cooler-than-anticipated weather trends (with temperatures beyond what would be considered a normal winter) likely boosted direct sales of Uggs and potentially spurred better reorders than originally estimated. Decker's has gained 2.6% to $84.49 today...Read more
COLUMN: Trading In High Heels For Uggs And Embracing The Life Of The SwugThe Heights (subscription), February 19th
It's spring of my senior year, and I have come to know a whole new way of life. It is whispered about at parties and on early mornings on the Comm. Ave. bus—it is even talked about in the cramped bathroom of Mary Ann's. It's the sensation sweeping...Read more
UGGs: expensive trend, animal cruelty or just plain UGG-ly?K-State Collegian, February 17th
"Uggs" are a unisex style of sheepskin boot that Australia and New Zealand lay claim to creating as early as the 1920s. In 1978, Brian Smith founded the UGG brand in Southern California, bringing the footwear to America. It exploded in the 1980s, and...Read more
Fashion Icon André Leon Talley Wears Uggs, And We Are All Vindicated!Jezebel, February 13th
Fashion icon André Leon Talley wears Uggs. If a man who's friends with Grace Jones and a long-time advisor to Anna Wintour can, well, there by the grace of God, go I. After the Oscar de la Renta fashion show in snow-warped New York City this week, ten ...Read more