Carola Long: 'I don’t really get Uggs, but I appreciate the principle behind them: comfort'

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Indy Lifestyle Online

I'm going to try and be open-minded about the collaboration between Ugg and Jimmy Choo, and not say knee-jerk things like, "I'd rather wear two KFC buckets on my feet". Instinctively, I think this is taking the "high-low" mix that has defined fashion for the past decade into the realms of the absurd, but I'm going to try and understand what – really, what? – the appeal is.

In terms of branding, it's a match made in heaven. It combines Tamara Mellon's luxury success story – buys small shoemakers and turns it into glamorous global brand supplying stilettos to the stars – with Ugg's mainstream success story – small Australian label is bought and becomes global brand supplying sheepshearer's boots to reality TV stars. Then there's the fact that Ms Mellon genuinely loves Uggs, saying that "other than Jimmy Choo, Ugg Australia really is the only other footwear I have in my wardrobe. I wear it at home in New York, on holiday in Malibu and ... for my plane wardrobe." She has designed five styles which pimp the basic Ugg, changing the colours and adorning them with studs, grommets, stars or fringing. Available from Thursday, they cost £495-£695.

As you may have guessed, I don't really get Uggs, but I appreciate the principle behind them: comfort. And many of us have an Achilles heel when it comes to "fugly" footwear. The fugly boot that's won my heart this season is Swedish Hasbeen's clog-boot (see swedishhasbeens.com). Handmade in a small Swedish factory and made of ecologically-prepared leather, these boots are just the right side of orthopaedic, and tap into the wholesome Scandi-chic look that seems so appealing right now. I like the mid-calf boot in the cognac shade, but am alarmingly drawn to the ankle version in bright green, even if they do recall children's wellies with frog eyes. The only call to make is whether the fugly shoes in question are so wrong they're right, or just plain wrong.

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