In the world of fashion, and especially the vintage kind of fashion, there really aren’t many types of footwear that ooze both style and coziness more than uggs boots.
With their wonderfully warm sheep-skin interior and design, uggs have only gradually grown in popularity since their release.
Ugg boots have been around for quite a few years now with each decade seeing them rise and fall in popularity, which can make it a little difficult to find out when exactly they were released.
This is what we have taken a look into below, along with where they are made and if they’re making a comeback.
What Year Were Ugg Boots Released?
While the actual origins of ugg boots has actually been a matter of debate among fashion enthusiasts, what is known for sure is that before they were given the name, ugg boots were first worn by Australian shearers in the 1920s.
The first time they were commercially sold was in 1933 when they were produced by the Blue Mountains Ugg Boots of New South Wales.
It wasn’t until 1978 that they would begin soaring in popularity and start being exported to the rest of the world when Brian Smith and Doug Jensen founded UGG which would be the first time ugg boots were exported out of Australia.
Controversy Surrounding Ugg Boots
By the mid 1990s, it wasn’t just Smith’s company who were selling uggs, but the Deckers Outdoor Corporation also wanted a piece of the sales that were coming from the ever-growing footwear, and therefore they trademarked the UGG name in the US and other countries.
Because the name was trademarked, this caused quite a controversy between Deckers who were selling these boots as part of a brand, and smaller Australian manufacturers who were still selling uggs that weren’t produced or designed by Deckers.
In Australia, uggs were still recognized as generic flat-heeled, pull-on sheepskin boots that were still commonly manufactured and that local companies sold not only in Australia, but also exported across the world.
This resulted in Deckers sending out multiple cease and desist letters to Australian manufacturers who were producing the boots and selling them over the internet on sites like eBay.
As of 2006, rulings were introduced that made it so Australian manufacturers could still sell their boots freely without facing legal or corporate punishment.
However, this only applies within the country, and today Deckers still owns the trademark in other jurisdictions including in Europe, China, and the US.
Are Uggs Only Made In Australia?
While they originated in Australia and have been a common sight there for over a century now, these days uggs are produced all over the world with its biggest producers being China, Thailand and the US.
With that being said however, a lot of the sheepskin used to make uggs are still sourced from Australia, making it a very important part of the production of the now world-famous shoes.
The UGG brand was actually bought from Brian Smith by major footwear company Deckers Brands in 1995 for $14.6 million.
Decker Brands made this decision after realizing the incredible potential ugg boots had in the footwear industry and while they may have originally been designed by shearers to keep them comfortable and warm, they have gone on to become a fashion statement for many around the world.
How Uggs Have Changed Since Their First Release?
They may still have their comfortable and cozy sheepskin interior design, however uggs have still changed quite a bit since they were first released, especially in their length.
Mini ugg boots which only reach up to the ankle have been tremendously popular throughout the mid-2000s while the longer versions reaching up the leg can also be spotted on celebrities such as Kate Middleton.
And of course, who could forget the backless ugg slippers which have nearly 10,000 five-star ratings on their Amazon page.
We’re not saying that uggs were destined to be made into slippers, but the sheepskin really does add that extra level of comfort to an already warm and cozy choice of footwear.
When Were Uggs Most Popular?
While ugg boots have been popular footwear since the 1970s when they were actually frequently worn by surfers, they were also a huge part of the counter-culture movement occurring in both America and Australia as a way to show young people’s opposition towards the more popular and far more expensive branded shoes.
In fact, in the early 1970s uggs were banned entirely in movie theatres in Sydney, along with ripped jeans, which only ended up making them even more popular.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that uggs really reached their peak after they were worn by the US Olympic team in 1994.
This public appearance brought Deckers Brands $14.6 million as droves of people began trying out these unusual but comfortable-looking boots as they were now being frequently worn throughout the decade.
Are Uggs Out Of Fashion?
While they may have reached their peak in the 1990s, uggs have certainly not disappeared from popular culture and a big reason for this is how they continuously manage to be a favorite piece of footwear among celebrities.
Whether it’s New England quarterback Tom Brady or world famous actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, all the way to talk show hosts such as Oprah, uggs can still be seen being worn on a regular basis, and considering the UGG brand has only expanded in this time, selling blankets, coats and wooly jackets, it means ugg boots are still in fairly high demand.
While they have experienced some turbulent years in terms of branding and commercialization, ever since they were first used in the 1920s and sold in the 1930s ugg boots were always going to grow popular thanks to how they manage to perfectly combine style and comfort seamlessly.
Since they have been around for a few decades at this point there are also many different ugg variations to choose from if you ever decide to try them out for yourself.
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