Trends aren’t something we should follow all the time. There are many cases of really hideous things becoming fashionable for no apparent logical reason. Do you remember those good old days when everybody wore those hideous velvet track pants? Simply AW-FUL! And what about those ugly foam clogs? Okay, I must admit I still rock a couple pair of those in my house, but honestly they’re not pretty, on the contrary, they’re just weird looking shoes with holes I don’t really understand. Yet, they’re still here, and they have just made a collaboration with a huge couture house. But let’s go back. Just like these examples, there are millions, because although fashion is all about looking good and chic, it has a dark and, honestly, quite terrible past.
So, one of these the terrible items that have conquered the world of fashion are the thick sheepskin boots everybody wears as soon as autumn arrives. Now, I’m gonna be honest with you, I find them extremely horrible, and yet, I haven’t found something as comfy and warm as these boots, and for that reason, despite my feeling towards them, I plead guilty to considering these my season favs. But how did these shoes that have split the public’s opinion became so popular? Who was the mind behind them?
Tracing the origins of these boots is basically impossible, but we can actually talk about how they became such a massive trend. It all happened in Australia during the sixties, and believe it or not, it was the surf community that started rocking this style on the beach. I know, right? It doesn’t seem so logical, but there it is. It turns out that during this iconic decade, surfers wanted something warm to wear right after a good set of waves on the cold ocean, and sheepskin boots (an artisanal footwear that appeared in the region during the twenties) proved to be the best choice. Then, for about fifteen years, all surfers in Australia and New Zealand started wearing them.
During the 1970s, Australian entrepreneur Brian Smith arrived in California looking for a unique product he could use to start a brand. Although he searched everywhere, nothing really got his attention. It was until he came across one of his surfer friends when he got what he was looking for. According to an interview in Forbes Magazine, his friend had with him a copy of a popular surfer magazine and inside it, he saw an advertisement with a guy wearing the boots while posing with his board on the beach. Smith knew that these were quite popular among the surfing community in Australia, but he had noticed that no one knew about them in the US and there he found his million dollar idea.
He founded the brand and starting selling these to surfers at the main beaches of California. Soon, people started asking about them, but they didn’t have the popularity they would reach years later. It wasn’t until the nineties that the brand made a deal with one of the biggest fashion corporations, and the mass production of these boots was so huge that everybody started looking for them at the stores. That, and the fact that the biggest celebrities of the time, like Paris Hilton and Oprah Winfrey wore these all the time and promoted them, turning these boots into one of the biggest crazes in fashion history. Even when they’re no longer that popular, we all still rock our wool boots during the cold season. So, impressive as it is, we have to thank surfers for the comfort and warmth our feet experience with these boots.
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