After a decade languishing in fashion purgatory, it appears the Ugg boot is making a comeback.
The Australia-born sheepskin surfer shoe might be as early-2000s, aesthetically, as Paris Hilton wearing a velour Juicy Couture tracksuit. But both sales figures and new market research show the brand is enjoying something of a resurgence.
YouGov BrandIndex has tracked the public perception of Ugg boots over the past two years, interviewing 45,000 consumers for this particular report.
At the end of June 2013, 4% of American adults said they’d consider buying Uggs on their next shopping trip for apparel and shoes. Now, that number has nearly tripled to 11%, a two-year high.
YouGov BrandIndex’s pollsters note that while Ugg traditionally sees a boost in its numbers between June and December, this “purchase consideration” score was hovering at about 6% this time last year.
Recent earnings reports from Ugg parent company Deckers Brands confirm a popularity boost for the boots, which retail for between $155 and $195 for the classic silhouette.
Deckers, which also owns sporty sandal brand Teva, saw Ugg sales increase by 12.6% to $1.49 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2015.
In its second quarter earnings report in late October, the company reported a more modest gain, but a gain all the same: Ugg sales were up 0.9% to $421.1 million, compared with $417.1 million during the same period in 2014.
Fashion insiders have been predicting the return of the Ugg for months. In January 2015, British Vogue heralded the comeback of what they describe as “a devil-may-care kind of glamour” once represented by celeb Ugg wearers like boho-chic actress Sienna Miller and Carrie Bradshaw herself, Sarah Jessica Parker, in the mid-2000s.
Who better to chaperone the Ugg’s resurgence than today’s most-photographed fashionistas, Kardashian clan members Kendall and Kylie Jenner? In November, the influential duo were snapped shopping for Ugg boots on New York’s Madison Avenue in what InStyle described as an “It-girl rite of passage.”
That the two were likely paid for their paparazzi-documented shopping spree and the accompanying Instagram shots they posted won’t deter their millions of followers. A lipstick set marketed by 18-year-old Kylie, for example, sold out online in less than a minute on Cyber Monday, landing on eBay EBAY +% later that day for thousands of dollars.
So, smart move, Ugg. And welcome back.