What Are Uggs Doing at Fashion Week?

Against the odds, the brand has made it all the way to the runway.

a model walks the collina strada runway wearing floral ugg boots
(Image credit: Collina Strada; Marco Rambaldi; Tolu Coker)

When Wharton Business School students of the future study the greatest fashion comebacks of the twenty-first century, their textbooks will inevitably include Ugg boots.

The past few years may as well be entered into fashion's historical record as the Uggaissance: a period in which the Ugg boot went from a forgotten and somewhat frowned-upon icon of Y2K excess to a resurgent staple beloved for its comfortable fit and hint of irony. Celebrities too numerous to list wear them constantly; so do suburban parents, international influencers, and twenty-something TikTokers. In 2022, I covered the boot's re-emergence in street style for another fashion magazine with the headline "Mini Uggs Are the Moment." Two years later, as parent company Decker reports three consecutive years of the record revenue growth, the statement is only more true.

Now, the Ugg comeback tour has arrived at the final frontier of fashion approval: fashion week. Ugg collaborations have appeared on ten runways between the Spring/Summer 2024 and Fall/Winter 2024 collections, according to a representative for the brand. Not only are designers embracing the humble, fleece-lined boots that fashion shunned a decade ago; they're updating them in ways beyond tapping into nostalgia.

Ugg boots appear on the Collina Strada runway with a model in a tulle skirt

Ugg boots' fall 2024 season began in New York, where several models wore Uggs painted with multicolor flowers.

(Image credit: Collina Strada)

Uggs on a Marco Rambaldi model with a sweater and skirt

Two weeks later, in Milan, Marco Rambaldi styled several haphazardly layered outfits with the Ugg Shasta boot—a style designed for extreme winter weather (and extra height).

(Image credit: Marco Rambaldi)

The Ugg collaborations released for Fall/Winter 2024, one for each city so far, took a few aesthetic steps beyond the brand's mallrat connotations. Through unexpected partnerships with independent designers, the brand tapped into new fashion credentials, while giving smaller labels a commercial boost.

Runway-ified Uggs at Collina Strada were made from corn leather, in keeping with creative director Hillary Taymour's eco-friendly mission statement. Tolu Coker, a rising name on the London Fashion Week calendar, lasered stripes onto Ugg clogs that coordinated with the ready-to-wear dresses and blouses. And in Milan on Wednesday, Marco Rambaldi accessorized his heavily layered collection with Tundra-insulated Uggs set on shimmery platform soles.

"One of the things that I thought was really special was I was able to lean into the themes of sustainability, of upcycling, deconstructing, and presenting known ideas in new ways," Coker said in a statement discussing the partnership. "With Ugg being such an internationally known brand, the association with comfort and quality, it was a big opportunity for me[.]"

a Tolu Coker model wears Ugg clogs while walking the runway

Tolu Coker, one of London Fashion Week's most exciting emerging designers, coated Ugg clogs and Ugg mini boots with laser-bonded stripes.

(Image credit: Tolu Coker)

Last season, seven more designers created bespoke Ugg boots for their collections. Chopova Lowena models wore gem-encrusted mini boots with doily socks sprouting out of the top like flowers. At Cormio, in Milan, Ugg Tasman slippers got the '80s surfer treatment through studded charm anklets pinned to each shoe. Vaquera, ever the renegades, created upcycled Uggs by stacking the uppers and soles of four separate shoes including an Ugg mini, tying them with oversize shoelaces, and topping it all off with a faux-fur boot shaft.

The takeaways: One, a massively available shoe still has the capacity to feel like something unexpected in an independent designer's hands. And two, even fashion disruptors want shoes they can walk in.

Ugg boots at the Chopova Lowena spring 2024 show

Chopova Lowena was one of several Ugg collaborators last season, sending models down the runway in bedazzled pairs set with lace ankle socks.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ugg boots with patches appear at Ashley Williams at London Fashion Week spring/summer 2024

At Ashley Williams, taller Ugg boots featured 3-D pins and patches.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, in street style, Uggs have been promoted from model-off-duty compromise to a series regular. Hadids and Jenners and Ratajkowskis still wear them constantly and without an ounce of shame or evident compromise. So do a number of the buyers, influencers, and editors trailed by photographers between shows.

Two women wear Ugg boots at Copenhagen Fashion Week

Two attendees at Copenhagen Fashion Week coordinated in the classic mini Ugg boots, one in a Prada-esque sweater and skirt, the other in a Loewe sweater and zero pants. Maybe they really love their Ugg boots; maybe it was below freezing.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Instagram Stories this season, one Milan Fashion Week attendee posted a photo of another's ankles, clad in mini Uggs and Gucci logo socks. They seemed to bemoan the pairing as a personal style crisis in action: Is there anything ironic about Uggs at fashion week anymore?

Maybe for some insiders. But even fashion people seem to crave their freedom from the tyranny of uncomfortable footwear. It's evident in the surge of soft, supportive, and downright ergonomic designs appearing in recent footwear collections. (Never mind the parallel surges in runway collaborations with brands like Crocs, New Balance, and Asics.) Even Bottega Veneta repurposed its trompe-l'œil magic trick to release leather boots that look like plush, cable-knit socks last year. And at Balenciaga, a collection intended to be an ode to early-2000s Los Angeles and its velour sweatsuit-wearing, Frappuccino-clutching denizens included a camel-colored, sueded boot that looked like an exaggerated Ugg.

A model walks the runway at Bottega Veneta in sock boots

Bottega Veneta indulged the need for more comfortable shoes with leather boots disguised as thick, knitted socks.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fashion will keep unintentionally making Uggs' case for it, anyway. Shortly after the Collina Strada cast walked the runway in their flower-stamped fleece boots, I watched with acute horror as a model at another show stumbled out of her pointed-toe ballet flats mid-catwalk, exposing an ankle covered in half-healed blisters. A Band-Aid, hanging on by one adhesive side, sadly flapped behind her as she walked barefoot. I bet she wished she was wearing Uggs.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes fashion and beauty stories. Her reporting has ranged from in-depth designer profiles to fashion week reviews and research-backed shopping guides. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held fashion writer and editor roles at Harper’s BazaarMorning Brew, and Glamour. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. You can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.