Ugly shoes are all the rage. But does America’s fiery passion burn hot enough to make these Teva x Ugg mashup monstrosities successful. I don’t know—would you wear them?
Deckers, which owns both companies, rolled out this horrific collaboration last week to some Internet condemnation. But Bloomberg Businessweek puts these sartorial nightmares in context. You can’t blame them for thinking that hey, in a world where Christopher Kane glues rocks onto Crocs for London Fashion Week, maybe the uglier the better. Not to mention there’s plenty of empirical market evidence that people are happy to buy wild shit that supposedly everybody hates:
Oddly enough, there may be something to this phenomenon. U.S. consumers seem to have a fascination with hideous shoes. They’ve helped build two bastions of practical yet absurd footwear: Ugg boots and Crocs clogs. Ugg hauls in more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue, while Crocs makes $1.1 billion. Although both have expanded into lots of other kinds of shoes, from wedges to loafers, their ugly classics remain best-sellers.
“For their part, executives at the parent of Ugg and Teva contend their latest offerings are ‘unique and fashion-forward’ and that they ‘celebrate the expression of freedom’ and the ‘art of footwear design,’” Bloomberg Businessweek notes.
The “boots” are selling for $225, and the sandals for $175. New idea for funding paid family leave: Let’s institute a tax on bad taste, cleverly disguised as selling high-fashion footwear made out of literal rotten banana peels.