- Ugg boots are making a comeback.
- Parent company Deckers Brands reported that Ugg pulled in $1.5 billion in net sales for fiscal 2018.
- Amazon recently released its holiday sales data, which named Ugg one of the most popular brands bought on its Prime Wardrobe service. Fashion-search site Lyst has seen a whopping 350% increase in searches for Uggs over the last six months.
For better or worse, the evidence is mounting that Ugg boots are coming back into fashion after a seven-year hiatus.
The recent rebirth of these cozy boots can be traced back to a runway show last January, when Y/Projects partnered with Ugg to create a thigh-high version of the boot. Immediately after, a string of celebrities including Rihanna and Sienna Miller were snapped wearing its classic style, and rumors surfaced that it could be making a comeback.
And it’s showing up in the financials. Ugg parent company Deckers Brands has reported strong sales growth for four of the last six quarters. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, reported in May, the brand saw sales grow 6% to $257.5 million. It pulled in $1.5 billion in net sales for the year.
Last month, Ugg was listed as one of the most popular brands bought on Amazon during the most recent holiday season. Fashion-search site Lyst also told Business Insider that it has seen a whopping 350% increase in searches for the boots over the past six months.
The good, the bad, and the ugly
The concept of Ugg was brought to the United States in 1978, when Australian native Brian Smith began selling the boot, which was often worn by Australian surfers, in Southern California. Over the next two decades, it started to gain momentum as celebrities and the fashion world took notice. Ugg was acquired by Deckers in 1995. It didn’t get its big break until 2000, however, when the boots were featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things and went global overnight.
Over the course of the next decade, Uggs went from being a must-have item to fashion’s biggest faux pas, and by 2011, the Ugg craze had hit a wall. A warm winter in 2011 and a sheepskin shortage in Australia were the final nail in the coffin, and Ugg saw sales decrease by as much as 11.6%, to $332.8 million in 2012.
The Ugg boot’s comeback is likely tied to the fact that it fits neatly into today’s fashion trends, which are loosely split between a desire to be comfortable and a desire to make a statement, hence the current popularity of practical clothing and the ugly fashion movement.
What’s more, a recent peak in interest in coziness has likely given the boot a second boost. This trend, which evolved from the Danish concept of “hygge,” was hard to miss in stores over the holidays.
“Retailers don’t seem to be letting go of it anytime soon,” Business Insider wrote in December, noting that many stores were marketing their clothes as “cozy,” “plush,” and “soft,” showing ads with models bundled up in oversized knit sweaters and cozy hats.