Footwear favorite Ugg is launching ready-to-wear. The collection of elevated basics is launching for fall ’20. The year-round line of staples features 30 styles that are either unisex or with a unisex vibe.
“Ugg is a brand known for how it makes people ‘feel’,” Andrea O’Donnell, president of Fashion Lifestyle for Deckers Brands, said in a statement. “Our new apparel collection was inspired by the emotional relationship we have with our customers.”
The line draws inspiration from Ugg’s West Coast roots with an organic color palette that fuses neutrals with contrasting pops of color. Much like the brand’s classic repertoire of boots, the idea is that each style will to be reimagined every season.
Both fabrications and the overall aesthetic are thoroughly in keeping with the brand’s DNA.
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Outerwear wins include luxe shearling coats and jackets such as its reversible three-quarter length coat and biker jacket.
Another highlight is the lounge wear which has Hailey Baldwin appeal. Fleecy hoodies, track pants and shorts come in 70% recycled fibers, brushed fleece options in 48% recycled cotton and cashmere blend pieces with ribbed detailing.
Although the “at home” vibe of the collection is very appropriate for the current times, for the brand, the idea has been in the works for four years.
FN spoke to O’Donnell earlier this year, prior to the pandemic’s taking hold in the west, at the Paris Fashion Week launch of Ugg’s 12×12 global sneaker initiative. “Apparel is the next big opportunity,” she said at the time, revealing that the brand would launch such a collection in September but keeping mum on the details.
“We are living in turbulent times. People are angry, they’re sad,” she said. “Ugg is a very emotional brand, it’s a safe place. I think the brands that can tell stories and connect at an emotional level will be the ones that will survive in the context as everyone needs to feel safe, protected and listened to.”
In February, O’Donnell was discussing the impact of Brexit and the Yellow Vest protests in Paris but these words apply now more than ever and the strategy accounts for the resilience of brands such as Ugg, and, by extension, Birkenstock.
Although Ugg’s first-quarter net sales decreased by 10% to $124.7 million compared to $138.5 million for the same period last year, searches since April have been up by 129% according to the brand.
The brand’s unisex appeal, underscored by this new apparel collection, is also in keeping with the times and the accelerated move to genderless dressing.
“The younger generation don’t see the boundaries,” she said. “The more diverse an organization you can be, the more voices you can listen to, the more creative you will be at the end of the day.” ugg.com/ugg-lifestyle