On Wednesday night, Telfar Clemens did what he does best by one-upping everyone and everything — even the first-ever digital New York Fashion Week — when he announced a surprise collaboration with fashion’s favourite “ugly” boot brand: UGG. “COMING 2021: TELFAR x UGG,” the designer, known for his “Bushwick Birkin” shopping bag, wrote alongside a video of himself wearing a bejewelled black T-shirt featuring the logo for the collaboration — the name UGG with the first G shaped into the Telfar logo. Clemens then posted another short film that showed him trying on UGG items — from a shearling vest that he says “is how you do Bushwick” to a matching shearling bucket hat, which he wore to snuggle with his dog on the couch — all the while roaming around his home, making pancakes, and doing Zoom interviews with CBS.
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Fans of the NYC-based brand know that Clemens is a long-time fan of the boot brand. In fact, he used UGG boots in shows going back to 2010, though he admits in the press release that he used them unofficially and was not authorised to do so. (Clemens notably deconstructed the classic UGG boot for his AW11 fashion show.) But the brand didn’t mind, it seems. “Telfar is exceptional; a true pioneer and visionary and one of the first designers to believe that being unapologetically yourself is sexy,” said Andrea O’Donnell, the president of Fashion Lifestyle at Deckers Brands which owns and operates UGG. “We believe in the same thing,” she continues. “Fashion can be real, democratic, and aspirational all at the same time.”
“I find UGG really sexy,” the designer said in a press release, calling the brand’s signature shearling boots “a soft kind of rugged.” “I’ve always been obsessed with a certain kind of ubiquity and when something really unique ends up on everybody,” he continued. “What I want to do is get down to the DNA of UGG and see what genes we have in common. To get down to the core of that feeling.”
This announcement by Clemens couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only is Telfar coming off the back of a CFDA win and a number of near-instant sell-outs of his signature tote bag, but UGG boots are also having a moment. (It is almost autumn, after all.) According to the fashion search engine Lyst, demand for UGG boots is up 24% week-over-week, with more than 41,000 searches for the brand in the last month alone. Of the most popular items are the Fluffette slipper, the Fluff Yeah slides, and the Classic Ultra Mini Boots, Lyst reports. And given that Clemens can be spotted in the Instagram video wearing the latter style, one can only hope it’ll be part of the UGG x Telfar mix come 2021 when the collection is released.