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History Behind Uggs

By: Stacie Moore, In-Depth Staff

It is that time of year, UGG season. Girls start wearing the irresistibly comfortable UGG boot and showing off the many different styles. UGG season is typically in the winter; however one may second guess after finding out where they were originally worn.  

UGG Australia was originally founded in California in 1978 by Australian Surfer Brian Smith.  He lives in Santa Monica, California and studied management at UCLA.  The boots originated in Australia initially as utilitarian footwear often worn by surfers in the 1960s. By the mid 1980s, the UGG brand became a symbol of relaxed southern california culture.  UGGs gained momentum through surf shops up and down the coast of California, from San Diego to Santa Cruz. They carved out an entire new era of fashion, transitioning to a more casual lifestyle.  

In 2000, UGG sheepskin boots were first featured on “Oprah’s Favorite Things”; from that point on, the world began to take notice.  Shortly after, New York fashion took notice, which then provided world wide recognition for the brand. UGG Australia has majorly expanded its company, now having many popular boot designs.

UGGs are best known for their classic sheepskin boots which originated with the traditional Australian UGG boot style.  They are made with actual sheepskin with fleece attached. Some variations of UGG style boots have also been made with kangaroo fur. Because UGGs are made from animal skin, they have been subject to criticism by the animal rights movement. UGG Australia stresses the fact that they are not killing sheep to make their popular boot, as they don’t use sheep’s wool when the sheep are living. Instead, when sheep die, UGG uses their fur, rather than having it go to waste. Although the fact of people wearing animal fur can be unsettling to some, UGG Australia has been a sensation all over the world.  It is a major part of our culture’s fashion and will most likely continued to be styled for years to come.