Uggs were supposed to be functional shoes, for romping around in the snow and staying warm when the heater breaks. Those functions, and those functions alone. The boots have become, however, a statement “It” item utilized for fashion purposes probably more than functional purposes these days. You know an item like this is destined for continued success when chicks in hot, muggy towns like Austin, Texas, wear them year-round with denim skirts, like they’re flip-flops, to look sexy. You also know their success can’t be stifled when the company that owns them pulls in $813 million in revenue in a year, as the company that owns Uggs did in ‘09. And you know they’re here to stay when companies like Jimmy Choo start making embellished, fringed $600 versions of the things. The craze has swept the muggy city of Hong Kong, where important fancy department store Lane Crawford saw the boots sell out within a month last year.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“I would say we were somewhat surprised at how intense the reaction was,” says Peter Nichols, senior buyer for Lane Crawford’s designer shoes department. “Clearly the consumer had been waiting for it.”
One look at these boots, though, raises the question of whether the fad will ever die. The thick, ungainly boots can cut off a woman’s legs in a most unflattering way — resembling two stuffed animals gnawing at the feet. Meanwhile the inner layer of fleece seems appropriate only for snowstorms, and hardly useful in the winters of Hong Kong, where temperatures rarely fall below 18 degrees Celsius.
Nichols adds that he believes “Ugg boots are here to stay,” and that “Whether you love them or not, they are definitely a part of the footwear conscience.” Has anyone considered that maybe, just maybe, the Jimmy Choo collaboration will kill their appeal?
Ugg, They’re Back [Scene Asia/WSJ]