As far as fashion trends go, there are few as divisive as Ugg boots. It's been over a decade since the cozy winter staple was first popularized outside of their native Australia by aughts icons like Paris Hilton and the shoes have become no less controversial in that time. Just in December, for instance, one airline, Qantas, went as far as banning them from business class lounges. But at the same time, its in part their outlier status that has also drawn iconoclasts like Jeremy Scott and Kim Gordon to rally for Ugg boots. Now, however, the shoes might be more divisive as ever as Ugg has given their classic an updated look at the hands of Y/Project.
Thigh-high Ugg boots made their runway debut this week at the award winning French label's presentation for Paris Fashion Week Men's AW18. They're certainly something to behold, too. The brand's reconstructed take on Ugg boots ranges in height but share one commonality: slouchiness. That comfort factor — which isn't often the focal point of Fashion Week shows — was why creative head Glenn Martens chose to collaborate with Ugg.
“Putting on Uggs is like putting your foot in a warm pot of butter, and I thought why not elevate that and immerse your full legs,” Martens told Vogue. “So we decided to design an Ugg boot that climbs up to the crotch and covers the whole leg.”
Regardless of your thoughts on them, one thing is undeniable: the thigh-high Ugg boots certainly capture the sartorial zeitgeist. High-fashion takes on "ugly shoes" have never been more ubiquitous than they are for spring 2018, thanks to Balenciaga head Demna Gvasalia and Christopher Kane's fanciful spins on crocs, Rick Owens' goth Birkenstocks, and Loewe designer Jonathan Anderson's elf-like sneakers. But it might be the challenge of showing something previously thought of as "ugly" in a new light that has designers gravitating towards taboo styles. “I think it’s very interesting, the definition of ugly," Gvasalia said last fall as Vogue notes. "I think it’s also very interesting to find this line where ugly becomes beautiful or where beautiful becomes ugly. That’s a challenge I like. I think that’s a part of what fashion stands for and I like that people think my clothes are ugly; I think it’s a compliment.”