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Ugg boots (or uggs) are known throughout the world as one of the leaders in fashionable sheepskin boots. It started back in 1978 when an Australian surfer started UGG in Southern California. His native Australia used sheepskin a lot more than the USA and he wanted to promote this material to the USA. By 1985 his sheepskin boots gained momentum and became popular in Socal starting at local surf shops.
The material they use is sourced like leather, sheep-skin is a by-product of processing sheep for human consumption. Because it is a by-product, the supply of sheep-skin is limited by the number of sheep processed for the meat industry. The rise in the popularity of ugg boots has been the "driving force" in recent shortages of sheep-skin, which have caused sheep-skin prices to increase by up to 80%.
Oprah helped nationalize the UGG message by giving away 350 boots to her audience, way back in 2000. This pushed it into the fashion concious mind of the USA. The brand broadened out to other types of shoes including luxurious slippers and even brought in fancy colors.
In 1999, Nick Whitworth sold the company name and the British UGG trade mark to Deckers Outdoor Corporation, renaming his company the Celtic Sheepskin Company.
They started with their first store in 2006 at New York City and expanded worldwide shortly thereafter. Colabs with Swarovski and Jimmy Choo helped extended the boots. Men's shoes were added as well as home products in 2013.
The UGG By You customization shoe program started in Fall 2014, with customization that included over 11,000 possible color combinations, custom Swarovski decals and monogramming, charms and color-pop ribbons.
According to wikipedia:
Ugg boots is a term for a unisex style of sheepskin boot developed in Australia and New Zealand. The boots are typically made of twin-faced sheepskin with fleece on the inside, a tanned outer surface and a synthetic sole. The term "ugg boots" originated from Australia, initially as utilitarian footwear worn for warmth, and were often worn by surfers during the 1960s. In the 1970s, the boots were introduced to the surf culture of the United Kingdom and the United States. Sheepskin boots, branded as "ugg boots" emerged as a fashion trend in the U.S. in the late 1990s and as a world-wide trend in the mid-2000s. In Australia, they are worn predominantly as slippers and often associated with "daggy" fashion sense, and "bogan" culture. Noteworthy Australian manufacturers of ugg boots include Luda Productions (which has roughly 75 percent of the market share in Australia), EMU Australia, and Uggs-N-Rugs.
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