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How UGGs kept UGGly chic on trend for 10+ years

by: Nicole Obiukwu

In the early 2010s, UGGs emerged as an adolescent staple. Made to bear the winter with soft sheepskin fleece on the inside and a tanned outside, the UGG quickly caught fire as a Y2K staple. Because of its notorious association with the "high-school mean girl," UGGs reputation fashioned itself as one of those things you love to hate. As UGG boot material are not made to wear and tear, the shared image of an UGG boot in most minds is the boot wrinkled and sagging, a water stained outside, and matted sheepskin fur of the inside. Yet, many of us wore our UGG boots with pride until they absolutely had to be tossed in the garbage. With such a volatile rep, how did UGG transcend their UGGly image and make another explosive return?

Though UGGs are seen as unsexy and shapeless, they somehow became synonymous with Y2K stars like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, paired with mini skirts on the go. Their celeb studded list of wearers brought UGGs to a new realm: the adolescent girls. Once companies started pumping out counterfeits (I.e., the Fugg), what was once UGGly chic was now labeled as tacky. Tacky as they were, however, their comfort and ease of wear kept them in the back of many wardrobes. Used for running errands, or worn as the shoe you didn't mind ruining, it ensured that they would always be visible no matter the year or the season. An infinite marker for the transition from fall to winter, breaking out the UGGs meant it was about to get cold. They saw a definitive drop in popularity from the mid 2010s, however new cutting edge styles ensured their resurgence in a new way.

UGGs intelligent collaborations and on-trend redesigning kept the brand on the radar and spiked reinterest. Their collaboration with Telfar sparked interest by 94%. But what was most impactful, was their appearance on this generations it-girls and influencers, like Bella Hadid, Emma Chamberlain, and Kaia Gerber. Self-proclaimed "Bella-bots" immediately ran to stores once photos of Bella rocking the ultra-minis, or mini II went viral. The short silhouette was now even easier to wear and pair. The resurgence of the platform trend, like many other Y2K revivals of the decade was one of UGGs main capitals. Refashioning many of their classic designs with a platform sole, ensuring that they would again be on trend for another cycle.

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