Y2K fashion is back in full swing. While the return of pieces like crop tops, bootcut jeans, and baguette bags have all sparked conversation—few things have caused as much debate as the Ugg boot.
After Bella Hadid stepped out in her Ugg Classic Mini Platforms at the end of September, fashion fans flocked to Twitter and TikTok to discuss whether or not Uggs are back. While some argued that only Hadid could pull them off, others rushed to buy themselves a pair (Bella's pick is currently sold out in all three colors online). Uggs have long held space in many closets across the world, but in our current ecosystem of ever-evolving micro trends, how do these famously "ugly" shoes keep coming back?
After Bella Hadid was photographed in her mini platforms, Swasti Sarna, Global Director of Data Insights at Pinterest, found that searches for “Mini Uggs” were 17 times greater than they were compared to 2021. Bella isn't the only Hadid with pull, either—after Gigi Hadid was seen wearing the Tazz Slipper last fall, the search term “Tasman Uggs Outfits” went up 32 times compared to year before. There’s no denying that the Hadid sisters’ love for Uggs are inspiring shoppers, but this isn't the first time the boots have fallen back into favor with celebrities and fashion lovers.
During the height of the pandemic, Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber incorporated the brand's Classic Ultra Mini Uggs into their model-off-duty uniform, bringing the comfortable shoe brand back into the limelight when comfort dressing was at its peak. At a time when putting on jeans felt like a chore, the comfort and nostalgia of an Ugg boot was a welcome reprieve.
While many people may still associate Uggs with their "basic" reputation of yore, the shoes manage to keep reinventing themselves. Bella Hadid’s recent look took an unexpected and fashion-forward approach to the classic brown boot. Rather than pairing them with the usual leggings or jeans, she styled hers with slouchy socks, tiny cotton shorts, and a leather jacket. After she, along with other It Girls such as Keke Palmer and Hailey Bieber, were seen wearing the shoes, Uggs seemed to take on a whole new meaning for Gen Z and millennials.
Of course, Uggs aren't the first "ugly" trend to resurface in the trend cycle for a new audience. Chunky dad shoes, Crocs, Adam Sandler-inspired fits, and the normcore aesthetic have all been embraced by comfort-seeking fashion fans. Uggs, however, have one edge that the others do not: the Y2K effect.
The Ugg boot's storied history as the It Girl shoe of the early 2000s can be traced back to Y2K style icons like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kate Moss, who were no strangers to running around Los Angeles in the original tall boot (occasionally cuffed over, of course). As fashion and TikTok have been embracing trends from the 2000s, it was only a matter of time until Uggs got another moment of celebration.
Despite what its naysayers may have said over a decade ago, Uggs are undoubtedly still keeping up with the times. But will we ever see the reincarnation of tall Ugg boots? We'll check back next year.