History of UGG Boots
The first Ugg boots were made in Australia in the early 1900's from twin-faced sheepskin, and were primarily worn by sheepherders and farmers in Australia and New Zealand. Farmers would also give leftover scraps of sheepskin to their children to wear as slippers around the house. Eventually, word spread about these warm and cosy sheepskin footwear, and they began to be sold commercially. By the 1950's, Ugg boots had become a popular tourist souvenir, with many visitors to Australia returning home with a pair of these unique Ugg boots, unknowingly solidifying the history of UGG boots as an Australian icon.
In the 1960's, Australian surfer Brian Smith was looking for a way to keep his feet warm between waves. After trying unsuccessfully to modify his existing boots, he eventually came up with the idea of using sheepskin to line them. The boots were an instant hit with his surfing buddies and soon word began to spread about this new style of iconic footwear.
In the late 1970's, Brian Smith went to the United States with a suitcase full of sheepskin boots and started selling them out of the trunk of his car. He found that Californians really loved ugg boots for their casual style and comfort, which quickly caught on with California's surfing community.
In 1978 he founded the company Ugg Australia with business partner Doug Jensen. From there they applied to be the United States distributors for a Western Australian sheepskin boot manufacturer called "Country Leather". But Brian was not happy with that brand, so he trademarked the name UGG in the United States.
Seeing potential, Brian and Doug convinced family and friends to invest $20,000 into their business and they registered Ugg Imports. In their first season in business, Ugg Imports only sold a total of 28 pairs of UGG boots.
Due to other business commitments, Doug Jensen handed over his share of the company to Brian Smith in 1979. Brian tried selling his ugg boots to surf shops up and down the California coast but also had little success.
Another surfing enthusiast named Doug Ruggin also decided to start mass-producing the boots and selling them under the name "Uggs" Ruggin's business quickly grew, thanks in part to a major endorsement from Australian Olympic gold medalist Shirley Strickland de la Hunty.
Realising this exposure, Brian Smith managed to gain international attention for his own company, after his UGG boots were worn by the United States Olympic team in Lillehammer for the 1994 Winter Olympics.
By the late 1990's, UGG boots had become a popular choice for American college students who wanted a stylish yet comfortable boot to wear around campus. It was around this time that celebrities began to take notice of UGG boots as well. Loved by celebrities and fashionistas alike, Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Pamela Anderson helped to make UGG boots a household name by wearing them on television and in movies. Today, UGG boots are worn by people all over the world and are available in a wide range of styles to suit any taste.
In 1995, Deckers Brands acquired Brian Smith's business for $14.6 million USD and continued to push UGG Boots into international markets.
The word "UGG" is used to describe a particular style of boot, not the brand. In Australia where the term is considered generic, more than 70 registered trademarks include the term “UGG” in various logos and designs. Original UGG Australia supplies a combination of Australian Made UGG boots and UGG boots that are manufactured overseas from certified A-grade Australian sheepskin.
The Ugg boot is one of Australia's most iconic pieces of footwear. Originally created as a functional item for farmers and other workers in rural areas, Thanks to their unique style and unparalleled comfort, the classic ugg boot has now become one of the most popular and iconic footwear items in the world.