Telfar Clemens’s greatest talent has always been turning the merely accessible into the hugely desirable. While many brands and products rely on scarcity to build hype, Clemens goes as far as he can in the opposite direction. He took his “Shopping Bag”, the brand’s crown jewel, with sell-out times measured in seconds, and made it so that anyone could buy it, an idea that would have been heretical to nearly any other brand and designer. Accordingly, the brand’s power lies not in rare goods but in the broad community that surrounds and embraces its products. So there may be no better brand soulmate for Telfar than Ugg, the makers of the omnipresent sheepskin-lined boots. And the designer’s long-awaited collab is now here, dropping first on Telfar’s website on June 14th before releasing at Ugg the week after, on June 21st. “We have always been obsessed with ubiquity, seeing something everywhere on anyone is what makes it real for us,” Clemens said via email.
The team-up has been a long time coming. Clemens, wearing a T-shirt with a sequined mashup of the two brands’ logos, announced the collaboration in September of last year. A fuzzy bag, like his famous Shopping Bag and an Ugg boot had a baby, followed in November. (It now demands $500-plus on resale sites.) Now, a full collection, in all its sequined and furry glory, is here. The unisex capsule includes two variations of the boot (including one nearly thigh-high version that feeds into Clemens’s sexy vision of Ugg), three pairs of underwear, and that remixed glittery T-shirt. This is only the first drop—more will follow in the fall.
The revamped boot is at the heart of the project. In Telfar’s world, the boots are pushed to be even cozier. The design borrows the fleece from his brand’s sweatpants to “combine the two coziest things on earth,” according to a press release. “We wanted to combine the ubiquity of our bag with the ubiquity of UGG boots,” Clemens said. “It’s that simple and all about execution. Our whole MO was to try to be more UGG than UGG!”
While it seems striking on its own, the Ugg collaboration is of the same spirit as Telfar’s partnership with White Castle, as well as his since-abandoned team-up with the Gap. They provide a unified theory of Telfar: to bring style, fashion, and magic to everyday places and people. These are goods designed to look good in downtown New York, but also at your local Starbucks.
Clemens’ obsession with Ugg has been building toward this moment for decades now. He says he first became interested in the brand when it was “a phenomenon in the early 2000s—everyone was wearing them before anyone knew how they felt about them,” he said. He eventually made his own unauthorized riff on Ugg boots for a 2014 runway show. However, for both Clemens and eager shoppers, a true collaboration was worth the wait. “Making shearling pieces at an accessible price point would never be possible on our own,” Clemens said. “With UGG it’s going to be everywhere. We love that.”