Iconic local footwear brand inspires designer’s debut at Paris Fashion Week
Originally worn by surfers to keep their feet warm after early-morning sessions, UGG footwear, founded in 1978, has since become iconic for its soft sheepskin and enduring design.
The California lifestyle brand, now a division of Deckers Brands with headquarters in Goleta, has come a long way since then.
Designer Kevin Germanier put a striking spin on the iconic UGG silhouette for his first ever show during Paris Fashion Week from Feb. 28 through March 8.
“I envisioned a very unique UGG Couture boot for this carte blanche. I like that the final result is unexpected,” said Mr. Germanier in a news release. “In these silhouettes, there is everything that roars in me, everything that pushes me to transform darkness into light, to tell life in all its brilliance.
“Not to pick up the pieces, but to organize something like an encounter between know-how and out-of-control; giving the embroidery the illusion that it is imploding, dripping wax over ice cubes and smearing it with hair gel, photo-printing it. Go further while dressing attitudes and not just images.”
UGG is an environmentally and socially conscious brand that strives to be socially just, economically inclusive and environmentally restorative. Delivering more than $1.5 billion in annual sales, UGG partners with the best retailers globally and owns stores worldwide in key markets including Santa Barbara, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing.
Taking the UGG Classic boot to new heights, the designer showcased his craftsmanship through the use of extravagant embellishments, bold-colored feathers and upcycled Swarovski crystals.
According to the news release, Mr. Germanier is known for “his sustainable approach to fashion, his focus on luxury upcycled fabrics with arresting details, such as discarded beads that the designer found during a work placement in Hong Kong, a prize for winning the Redress Award in 2015.
“Mr. Germanier eschews the homespun connotations for which eco-friendly fashion is known and instead draws inspiration from a futuristic vision of utopia. Look for sculptural jackets, glitter-strewn dresses and sharply spliced skirts.”
His garments have been worn by many international celebrities including Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Kristen Stewart, Björk or Sunmi. Mr. Germanier’s business was also named a “30 Under 30” by Forbes magazine in 2020 in the category “Europe-Arts and Culture,” participated in the LVMH prize as a semi-finalist in 2019 and the ANDAM Prize in 2018.
Waxing poetic about his debut show at Paris Fashion Week, the designer said, “Lava foam, embroidered bugs, burning waves. March 7, 2022. A first show in Paris, the city I dreamed of, in the heart of a place where past and future collide, a ballroom buzzing with hopes and apparitions. Paris, in crazy majesty, piled-up of high voltage neon lights, couture acids, sequined skin. Underwater fireworks. Passengers of the night weighted with cabochon masks and jeweled bags. Stretch velvet, constellation leather satin, 3D printed corn plastic, and set with crystals.
“Flowers from the abyss, shivers of feathers, electric demons. In these silhouettes, there is everything that roars in me, everything that pushes me to transform darkness into light, to tell life in all its brilliance. Not to pick up the pieces, but to organize something like an encounter between know-how and out-of-control; giving the embroidery the illusion that it is imploding, dripping wax over ice cubes, and smearing it with hair gel, photo-printing it. Go further while dressing attitudes and not just images.
“It’s my first show, and that’s what I’ve been trying to tell since my debut. Demonstrate that recycling is not a passion-killer. The idea is not to make something new out of the old, but to transform oblivion into desire, waste into love, debris into promise. It is taking the light that no one wants. The line becomes curved, following body contours, while the timeless pieces, from the tuxedo jacket to the denim one, are adorned with shards of pearls, silicone comets. We are working on anatomy, it’s an emotion, and the whole collection starts from this inner explosion.”