When I was first invited to the luxe Gramercy Park Hotel terrace to preview the new Spring 2012 Ugg collection, I was skeptical. The association that I had with the salt stained sock boots of the college set with sweatpants or jeans awkwardly tucked into them was hard to shake off. Still I decided not to let what I thought I knew about the boot to shape my evening and I found myself pleasantly surprised.
When I entered the beautiful space I heard relaxing music playing as I approached a room with an impressive light bulb installation on the ceiling. Amidst the warm lighting and rustic wood fixtures I first saw the men's collection. Beautiful rich tones of leather were crafted into an assortment of shoes. Some classic mens shoes were displayed including boat shoes, bowling shoes and ones that even sort of look like Toms (unfortunately without the philanthropy). My favorites were the olive green bowling shoes and the high top incarnation. My boyfriend who came along for the ride said he would like a pair stat and pointed out a brilliant touch of shearling placed strategically in the back heel where most shoes tend to rub and become painful.
For the women's shoes I first saw a few pairs that played homage to the classic Ugg that along with the denim logo styles I would avoid with a ten foot pole but the wooden soles clogs, colorful espradilles, laser cut flat sandals were a pleasant surprise. They looked comfortable, colorful and like something I would actually wear in the summer.
When I entered the other room this is where Uggs found their stride in the best possible way. Faux ostrich, stingray, eel, snake and woven leathers were combined with wood for a grouping of open toe pumps, strappy sandals and boots I genuinely would want to own. The shoes were sexy, cute and without a bulbous toe in sight. With comfort in mind heel heights are reasonable and toe shapes don't look overly narrow.
Uggs have definitely come a long way from their surfer roots to create a wide assortment of shoes that would fit into the wardrobes of even the biggest skeptic.