The Story of UGG Boots: Sold By Luke Stedman’s Dad For Just $10k, Now The ‘Surf Boot’ Brand Is Fighting For Its Name
The story of UGG boots is one of surfings greatest in pop culture. It is quite known that the legend Shane Stedman (the most stylish surfer there ever was Luke Stedman’s surf shaper dad) invented the Ugg boot, then sold it for $10k and a few free pairs, before Opera, Lindsay Lohan, and the rest of America got behind them turning it into a brand worth hundreds of millions or so.
Now there’s a big lawsuit, in which og Corky Carroll is a witness in, trying to decide if ‘Ugg’ is a trademark able brand or more of an Australia icon. It’s a generic name down under, but not in North America. Like ‘Champagne’ in France, ‘Port’ in Portugal, or kinda like how ‘Kleenex’ is tissue, but people call any tissue ‘Kleenex’.
We’re only talking about this because Ugg is an iconic surf brand made for Australian dawn patrol surf checks and named ‘Ugg’ because people thought they were so ugly. Then they somehow became one of the largest ‘surf brands’ ever. Too bad Shane didn’t reap the benefits, but it doesn’t seem like he cares. Damn legend! Look at him up above with his then girlfriend on his lap and his ‘UGHs’ on.
“Three decades before Oprah Winfrey ignited a fashion firestorm by promoting the fleecy footwear known as Uggs, a surfer named Corky Carroll packed a pair of something very similar for what would turn out to be a fateful journey.
Mr. Carroll, a famous surfer in the 1960s and ’70s, discovered the boots while hitting the waves in Australia, where locals used them to keep their feet warm on cold days at the beach. Mr. Carroll brought a pair back with him to California, he said, then asked a friend to send him a hundred to sell on consignment after other surfers began admiring them.
“I have always loved them, very comfortable and warm,” Mr. Carroll, who still owns a pair, said in an email from his home in Mexico. “Also easy to get on and off.”
Mr. Carroll’s account is now part of a court dispute that is raising hackles in Australia over footwear that has sometimes been derided as unflattering and just plain ugly. Though Australian by pedigree, the Uggs brand name in the United States is owned by a company based in California — and that firm is suing an Australian shoemaker for using it.”
Click to THE NEW YORK TIMES to read about the UGG brand name conundrum “France Has ‘Champagne,’ Portugal Has ‘Port.’ Should Australia Have ‘Uggs?’”
Click to the MIRROR UK for the story of Luke Stedman inventing UGG Boots and selling it for $10k and three free pairs.
"I love surfing because you’re so close to nature and you feel so free. Being in the ocean, dunk diving, surfing, paddling… it makes you feel so small, and at the same time you feel like everything is possible." Read more about @hanaleireponty's connection to CA, surfing, and UGG on the blog now. #UGGLife