It’s been one year since Deckers Brands purchased California-born sheepskin boot label Koolaburra — and it’s finally time for the big reveal.
Dubbed “the free-spirited little sister” to the Deckers-owned Ugg brand, Koolaburra by Ugg is poised for its fall ’16 launch in several midtier department stores, including Kohl’s, DSW, Shoe Carnival and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse.
With 10 silhouettes ranging in price from $30 to under $100, Jen Somer, VP of Ugg Women & Lifestyle and GM of Koolaburra, said the fall ’16 collection of boots and slippers will feature many elements of the Ugg DNA but target a younger demographic. (Prior to the Deckers buy, the average price for Koolaburra boots was $200).
“Koolaburra will go after the 18-to-35-year-old demographic [whereas] Ugg targets the 28-to-40-year-olds,” Somer said.
Koolaburra’s ability to appeal to a younger demographic was one of the reasons the brand became an attractive buy for the company in 2015, according to Somer.
“[The brand] had that younger, fun vibe to it,” Somer said. “It was also founded in 1991 in Santa Barbara, so it had [a] contemporary California DNA — similar to the Ugg brand, which made it very complementary.”
In addition to being “street ready” with a durable sole, Somer said the 10 SKUs will merge a mix of materials such as suede and sheepskin.
The company will focus the bulk of its Koolaburra marketing in the social media realm, tapping bloggers and influencers for several campaigns starting in mid-September.
“ ‘Koola’ embodies the casual comfort at the foundation of Ugg reimagined in spirited styles designed for the next generation,” Somer said. “Our intention was to take the best-loved comfort of the iconic Classic [Ugg] boot and translate it into effortlessly chic iterations tailored for up-and-coming set.”
The brand’s e-commerce site launches on Sept. 1.
A collection of Koolaburra by Ugg sandals, wedges and sneakers is due out next spring.