Sigh… is the approach of winter bumming you out? It's true that the pending chill means no more minis and that waiting by the velvet rope will be a brrritch, but aren't you forgetting something? Duh, Uggs! (That's Australian for "comfort," in case you've been buried in the racks at a Miss Sixty sale for the last year and a half.)
Uggs are clunky sheepskin boots that keep toes toasty, and they are mando footwear for starlets and fashionistas, who agree that in the case of Uggs, it is better to feel good than to look good (but only this once!). Ever since
Sex and the City
(R.I.P.) and Oprah professed their love of the Ugg life, Uggs have been the shoe sensation sweeping the nation.
So Uggs abound, and we all agree that's a good thing, but what's with their name? I mean, let's face it, it's kind of embarrassing.
"Saying ‘ugg' in Australia would be like saying ‘ahh' in America. It's a sound that indicates relief," says Dale Johnson, a 26-year-old Aussie style maven spotted padding around town in light blue knockoffs.
But why would we listen to someone wearing knockoffs? Chill, just because Johnson is wearing bo-bos doesn't make her Uggs any less legit. It turns out that "Uggs" is Down Under lingo for any sheepskin boot. "In Australia, Uggs are so ubiquitous that the name refers to the style of boot instead of a specific brand, kind of like Xerox or Kleenex," Johnson says. Ugg Australia, purveyor of Uggs of the name-brand variety, created an uproar in Australia recently when it started demanding that local boot manufacturers cease and desist using the Ugg name.
The Ugg-style boot dates back to the 20s, when sheep shearers would wrap sheepskin around their feet to keep warm, so most Aussies think it's ridiculous to trademark the name.
And the moniker that is now so hotly contested? Where did it come from, anyway? The truth is, the name Ugg comes from where you would expect: It is short for "Ugly." This might explain why Coach's version of Ugg knockoffs are called Andis (love them!). So now you're in the know, but don't pat yourself on the back—there will soon be more to learn! Uggs is branching out from boots, and we almost dropped our appletinis when we saw the still-unreleased Ugg ponchos on the likes of Kate Hudson and Uma Thurman.
Not content with just being the global leader in luxury sheepskin footwear, Uggs is now pairing with hot musicians like Stain'd and Ashlee Simpson through its Art & Sole program. The musicians paint Uggs boots with their own designs and the boots are later auctioned off for cash to fund music education programs. Rock on!