‘UGG Australia’ No More, Deckers Reboots the Classic UGG Boot South Africa

The UGG classic sheepskin boot has been a staple for fashionistas since becoming a household name back in 2000, when Oprah Winfrey’s annual “Oprah’s Favorite Things” made it a must-have brand and 350 members of her studio audience took home a pair. It was already a hit with celebrities keeping their toes warm on the set between takes, including Kate Upton, Blake Lively, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker, who wore them on them on HBO’s Sex and the City as Carrie Bradshaw.

No long called UGG Australia but simply UGG, the Deckers-owned brand has just released its first update in 38 years, Classic II, reimagining its first iconic boot design with innovative technology to make them water- and stain-resistant, with better traction and overall lighter weight for increased wearability.

“This is without a doubt the biggest launch UGG has ever undertaken in its 38-year history,” stated Dave Powers, President and CEO of Deckers Brands, owner of UGG. “Updating a product as iconic as the Classic was a big decision. However, after listening to what our consumers want we knew it was time.”

Maintaining the look and feel of the original (and widely-mimicked) Classic, a pre-treated sheepskin upper protects against water and stains while a Treadlite by UGG outsole gives increased traction, durability and flexibility. A new logo and leather heel plate complete a refined finish.

“This is a big moment for the brand as it is not just about celebrating the launch of a new boot; it marks the start of a whole new line of products you will soon start to see from the brand,” said Powers, excited to be relaunching a fashion icon—a process that started with the Classic Slim last year—and weathering a recent slump.

Although its original design and logo of UGG Australia might lead fans to believe it’s an Australian brand, UGG was actually founded in California in 1978, created by Aussie expat surfer Brian Smith to warm the feet of other surfers in his adopted homeland. (He even wrote a book about it, titled The Birth of a Brand: Launching Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Soul.)

Deckers bought UGG Australia in 1995, and long before its 2014 global brand campaign (“This is UGG”) to educate consumers, started trademarking the UGG name and brand in the US and more than 130 other countries for footwear, bags, clothing, outerwear, home goods and other products—and has been suing Ugg-named sheepskin boot manufacturers in Australia (where sheepsking boots are also known as Ughs and are considered somewhat daggy) for years.