ugg outlet Moon Boots Back on Earth
FEW occasions were as “sweet,” in the word of Napoleon, the Brillo haired hero of the cult movie hit “Napoleon Dynamite,” as the day he acquired a pair of outsize winter running shoes. “They’re basically moon boots but have better traction and are more aerodynamic,” Napoleon explains. “You should probably get a pair.”
That goofy endorsement might resonate with Napoleon’s real life teenage peers, those oddly assorted technonerds who like the way moon boots function. But their utility could not matter less to fashion fanatics, many of whom have kicked aside their sheepskin Uggs last year’s craze to make way for these clunky usurpers.
Moon boots, which first saw light in the early 1970’s as the footgear of choice for astronauts, club crawlers and snow bunnies, have been revived by the fashion tribe, and in particular by early adopters like Caroline Gottesman. Last week Ms. Gottesman, a 22 year old Harvard senior, sprang for a pair of ponderous looking nylon and polyurethane Tecnica boots, said by the merchants who claim to know about such things to be the original moon boot. On a day when the temperatures shot into the 70’s, Ms. Gottesman wore hers with a miniskirt. “They’re not hot,” she insisted. “They’re comfortable.”
Was it only last summer that she doted on her Uggs? Never mind, said Ms. Gottesman, who has stowed those boots in the rear of her closet. “I’ve moved on.”
Retailers say they are hard put to keep them in stock. “Everybody is always looking for that next big thing,” said Jaye Hersch, the owner of Intuition, a Los Angeles boutique, where moon boots have sold in the hundreds and been reordered three times since they first arrived two weeks ago. Customers have been lining up all month to buy Golas, which are a cushiony interpretation of the lunar boot offered in pastels, at $80 a pair. “We’ve been seeing these all over the streets, even though the temperature is still in the 80’s,” Ms. Hersch said. “It’s like the way we saw Uggs being worn in the beginning, just a couple of years ago.”
At the Tannery in Cambridge, Mass., where Ms. Gottesman bought her moon boots, the most popular models come in space age white or silver. “People want to look like astronauts,” said Marcello Fernandes, who manages Web sales for the store, adding with a hoot: “They’re the ugliest things I’ve ever seen in my life. And people love them. ”
Newsletter Sign Up
Their unregenerate homeliness has in fact endeared them to aficionados, who show theirs off much as they did their Uggs last year: as a cute, if klutzy, counterpoint to their billowy, flower splashed frocks. “Sometimes you have to wear moon boots with a skirt, just to balance out the look,” said Melissa Belgiovine, 21, a senior at Boston University, who has added a pair of lipstick red Tecnica boots to her inventory of Prada loafers and spike heeled pumps.
Moon boots are surfing the same retrofuturistic style wave as the resurrection of the classic 1970’s Puma sneakers and Le Tigre polo shirts. And though they have been seen on the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Pamela Anderson, moon boots are that true rarity, a fashion fad that seems to have surfaced spontaneously. “I don’t know that this trend is celebrity driven,” Ms. Hersch said. “It’s doing just fine without a Hollywood tie.”
The boots first regained currency a couple of years ago, around the time they came thunk thunking down the runway in Anna Sui’s Fall 2002 show. And interpretations appeared in the fall collections of design houses like Christian Dior, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Pucci. “We call ours a snow boot,” said Robert Duffy, the president of Marc Jacobs, which sells the puffy booties under the Marc by Marc Jacobs label for $180 a pair. Since they began arriving in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus late last June, about 9,000 pairs have been sold. Women wore them with dresses on the soupiest summer days, Mr. Duffy said.
More recently, the Columbia Sportswear Company and Timberland, both specialists in high function hiking shoes, have capitalized on the rage for utility gear, introducing moon boots of their own. “Consumers demand performance,” explained Traci Thayne, Timberland’s global senior product manager never mind that performance is not apt to be a high priority for women who collect moon boots along with their Manolos.
Timberland’s moon boots will reach stores next month. But by then those with exquisite fashion antennae will likely have moved on. Tarek Hassan, who owns the Tannery, is already thinking ahead. “Moon boots could be done with very cool materials,” he said. “That whole tweed look would be awesome. Or we could tweak it up a little bit with rainbow colors. This is just the beginning.”