Ugg Is Sick Of Being Pigeonholed For Its Boots
The mannequin on this Ugg ad is wearing Ugg boots, but she is drawing on an $795 Ugg-branded sheepskin area rug with a $145 Ugg pillow on the chair behind her. Oh — and she’s Ernest Hemingway’s great-nice-granddaughter, sketch artist Langley Fox Hemingway.
Seeking to avoid the fashion dustbin of history, Ugg Australia is plugging away at diversifying its model. It launches a brand new promoting campaign on Monday with the tagline “This is UGG” in an attempt to portray Ugg as “common,” with items for men, ladies, kids and the house — not just one style of sheepskin winter boots. Along with Hemingway, the adverts characteristic New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Connie Rishwain, president of Ugg, told The Huffington Put up in an interview this week that she doesn’t need Ugg to be “stereotyped” as a mere footwear model.
Certainly, the model sells all kinds of stuff today. Ugg debuted a house goods line in October: knit pillows, blankets and sheepskin rugs. In 2011, Ugg launched a pricier vogue line referred to as Ugg Collection, made in Italy. In 2012, Ugg opened its first males’s store. Rishwain stated Ugg is trying to go for a yr-spherical really feel by offering products underneath the Ugg title that consumers can use at completely different occasions of the yr.
In consequence, Ugg now sells a host of issues to wear: Boots, slippers, sneakers, sandals, wedges, winter gloves and hats, coats, shirts and handbags. It contains expensive fashion items like $375 Italian leather harness boots and a $215 python-embossed calf hair clutch. You can even purchase an puffy, fuzzy sleeve for a smartphone.
In fact, branching away from a core product isn’t at all times a winning technique. One other big shoe model, Crocs, tried the same move in 2009, but took issues too far, the company admitted in $5 t shirt July. By putting its identify on so many various types of footwear, Crocs strayed too far away from its heritage, bewildering clients by selling plastic, gap-punched clogs alongside fancy high heels.
Reflecting on the rise of Ugg boots in the mid-2000s, Rishwain stated she cherished all the press and PR when celebrities like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton have been noticed with the traditional sheepskin boot on their toes. However it’s not 2003 anymore. A decade after Ugg boots turned widespread, few moreover teenagers in Santa Barbara wear them like that, said Rishwain.
“We had been really well-known for that and it was photographed quite a bit,” mentioned Rishwain. “Ugg has really evolved over the years to be so much more than the boot.”
Founded in California in 1978 as Ugg Imports, the boots burst into recognition in the early-2000s after being featured by Oprah Winfrey on her tv present, sparking a teenage fashion frenzy. Deckers Outside Corp., which bought the brand in 1995 and is now Ugg’s guardian firm, reaped the revenue. In 2013, the model raked in nearly $1.3 billion in gross sales.
Over time, Ugg has fought Women’s Custom Melting Summer Short Sleeve T-Shirt fixed criticism. The excessive fashion crowd has largely dismissed the boots as ugly. Podiatrists have stated the boots do not provide proper help, resulting in well being issues. A U.Ok. judge warned that the boots are dangerous to wear while driving. Animal rights group PETA mobilized towards Ugg, accusing the corporate of “extreme cruelty to animals.”
In spite of all of it, the model has performed quite properly currently for Deckers. In July, it introduced a 22.8 percent spike in Ugg sales to $123.Three million for the quarter, up from $100.Four million the same period the year before.
Sam Poser, an analyst at Sterne Agee, wrote in a word to purchasers that Deckers, which additionally owns manufacturers Teva and Sanuk, is benefitting from a pattern towards comfort, as clothes like stretchy leggings and yoga pants turn out to be increasingly well-liked.
“Merchandise $5 t shirt across brands and categories are gaining momentum,” including Ugg, wrote Poser. “Deckers is arrange nicely for the future.”
As much as Ugg desires to department out, it stays dependent on the original shearling boot it owes its success to. The Girls’s Traditional Quick boot, which sells for $155, stays the brand’s best-vendor.
In response to the company’s market analysis, Ugg needs the basic boot to attract first-time consumers, who then go on to buy different kinds of products. So, Ugg tries to keep the boot up to date. In contrast with its days as a teen trend craze, the stout little booties are now a bit slimmer, with new soles. Designers have added styles with embellishments, bows, embroideries and buttons.
And that boot is here to stay, whether the haters prefer it or not. In interviews with HuffPost earlier this yr, fashion psychologists and stylists stated that the traditional Ugg boot has surpassed fad standing, earning a permanent place on women’s ft.