THE OFFICIAL UGG HYPEBOOK
To satisfy the ever-shifting preferences of hypebeasts and sneakerheads, footwear brands have to evolve. Oftentimes, that means turning to flashy tech innovations, eccentric colorways, and an ethos divergent from that which established the brand as unique in the first place. UGG, best known for its Classic boot—boasting a laceless, tan sheepskin exterior and cushioned interior lining—has remained true to its design and functionality, while continuing to defy conventions.
Born on the coast of California during the height of counterculture in 1978, the brand embraces unapologetic individuality; from the non-conformist surfers who first used the Classic boot for warmth, to the boundary-pushing fashion designers and celebrities who are redefining UGG today.
UGG is timeless and the boot universal. Because of those two superpowers, the brand has established a seemingly boundless range of clientele, beginning in the early aughts. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone younger than 35 who’s never worn a pair.
The one aspect of UGG that has changed lies in the “how.” How are consumers wearing the product? Once passed the infancy surf stage, the boot ushered in the cozy couture era (2000s), accompanying college students as they made the trek from dorm to classroom. Now, you wear UGGs to complete a fit. Just ask designer Heron Preston and British fashion model Adwoa Aboah—two of the brand’s newest ambassadors.
To commemorate 40 years of UGG, Complex presents the Official UGG Hypebook. It contains a detailed look at where UGG has been, but most importantly, where it’s going, which is highlighted by the brand’s new signature line: The 40:40:40 Collection, offering a bold simplicity that has characterized the historic legacy of UGG.
The sandy-hued, double-faced sheepskin body make for a timeless design that’s easy enough to pair with any outfit. Meanwhile, the cushy, butter-soft insoles caress the feet, and are a solid choice in colder climates, whether inside the house or out on the street. UGG versatility—in wearability and “pairability”—has enabled it to find a wide range of wearers. The Classic boot is, undoubtedly, the universal boot.
With the release of the 40:40:40 Collection, UGG adds another notch to its storied belt of boots. This signature line consists of 13 limited edition iterations of Classic styles, available for men, women, and children at UGG stores worldwide, and select global wholesale accounts.
THE 40:40:40 COLLECTION
Classic Short: The boot that made the brand famous, featuring signature Twinface suede and sheepskin body, lightweight EVA sole, and 8” shaft height.
Classic Mini: The Classic boot offered with a slightly shorter 5.5” shaft height. Still warm, still cozy, only that much easier to slip on and off.
Tasman: The feeling of a Classic boot offered in a seamless backless slipper. Same suede and sheepskin outer with the UGGpure™ wool insole, and Tasman braid for added style and coziness.
Ansley: The UGG answer to the call for moccasins. Plush enough for indoor R&R with a water-resistant outer and rubber sole, tough enough to take on the outdoors.
Classic Mini: The Classic boot offered with a slightly shorter 5.5” shaft height. Still warm, still cozy, only that much easier to slip on and off. For guys with issues concerning calf constraints.
Neumel: Signature UGG fabrication meets the timeless men’s chukka boot construct. A menswear staple, with the snug levels turned up.
Ascot: Imagine the men’s loafer silhouette. Now imagine that loafer with the ease and steeze of an UGG. Voila! The Ascot.
Scuff: With so many offerings lending themselves to indoor-outdoor wear, there had to be one best suited for the former. Though the plush Scuff house slipper could be worn outside, why not let it do what it does best: shroud your feet in warmth with its wool interior.
Tasman: The UGG feel with added versatility. It’s offered backless for easy entry, and boasts an extra Tasman braid for amplified style—a true two-for-one.
What was the seminal moment in the history of UGG that bred its mass appeal? You could make a strong case that it occurred in 2003 on national television. During the second edition of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” the iconic TV host gifted 350 pairs of Classic boots to her entire staff and studio audience. Her generosity started a movement.
Through the years, the brand has partnered with a number of high-profile celebs, but the faces of UGG aren’t limited to its ambassadors. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton were often seen donning the boots during their early-mid 2000s peak powers. More recently, Cardi B unveiled her exclusive red Swisher Sweets pair, while Rihanna has been known to complement flamboyant fits with the sandy tans.
In tow, the leaders of today’s hour, like streetwear polymath Heron Preston and British supermodel Adwoa Aboah, have aligned with UGG (as official brand ambassadors), and can be found wearing the SoCal shoe of choice as a style statement. They are at the forefront of a new era of UGG; one that is witnessing the boot reach a younger Gen Z/Millennial consumer base on catwalks at NYFW, Coachella, and more.
With high fashion and streetwear’s extended love affair in full bloom, it’s no wonder that artist,DJ, and designer Heron Preston is one of the most popping influencers today.Since his emergence in the broader streetwear conversation in late 2012, playing as creative wingman to the red hot Virgil Abloh with their “Been Trill” imprint, Preston has kept his finger on the pulse of what can only be considered the now of next year. From unexpected collaborations with the New York Department of Sanitation and NASA, to moonlighting as a DJ at the hottest parties in both music and fashion, Heron continues to aspire and inspire. The sky’s the limit, and with UGG soaring higher and higher each year, it’s no wonder that Preston, one of the boldest creatives on the planet, has aligned with one of the boldest brands. Together, they celebrate 40 years of achievement, sights set on the sun.
Ms. Adwoa Aboah is having a moment. In 2017, she was named British GQ’s ‘Woman of the Year’, models.com’s ‘Model of the Year’, and even found herself on the cover of the highly anticipated first issue of British Vogue under the helm of newly appointed editor, Edward Enninful. Her strikingly sophisticated look has turned her into the cornerstone for massive ad campaigns like that of Burberry London, Revlon, and Chanel. Not to mention, she’s the leading voice and founder of Gurls Talk, a podcast that empowers young women to share their stories. As graceful as she is strong, Aboah is a voice of a generation, and it’s only fitting she partners with a boot of the people.
In the evolving footwear economy, there will always be moments—trends of the hour—as fun and exciting as they are fleeting. Over its 40 years in existence, UGG has proved that its Classic boot is anything but fleeting. Its sandy coloring and cozy fit are winter staples, used for relaxing and staying warm. But now, they’re also the ultimate fit-check item, and the world’s most influential tastemakers are pairing them with high-end brands on the red carpet, catwalks, and as part of respected runway collections—the biggest stages in pop culture and fashion.
In securing collaborations with the purveyors in both high (Y/Project) and street fashion (Ronnie Fieg’s Kith), UGG, like many patrons who don the sandy sheepskin upper, maintains its upward mobility. And given the brand’s history, it can only be surmised that the next 40 years of UGG will experience even more growth, without sacrificing the cozy and wavy product that the world has fallen in love with.