I once wrote a fashion column entitled: ‘Ten things women wear that men hate.’ The man repellers. Top of a list that included dungarees, leggings, harem pants and oversized sunnies was, of course, the replica Uggs boots, the Antipodean sheepskin comfort bootie that makes its owner pad like a camel or a hippo, and look like one, too, given the original colour was ‘chestnut’, a dark beige. One young man moaned thus: ‘There is no toe cleavage, no ankle… they smell pretty bad, too.’
The ubiquitous replica Uggs boots, according to an essay in a newspaper last week – despite being banned from an East End coffee shop that labelled them ‘slag wellies’ – is still going strong. In 2014-15, replica Uggs sales were up 12.6 per cent on the previous year. The brand is about to launch its 400th colour combination. Even Mary Berry owns a black pair.
But are the boots really the nadir of fashion? They are expensive (the classic tall replica Uggs is £195), but they are also comfortable, and democratic: they can be worn by women of any age, and any size.