Being the fashion guru that I am, I have always avoided certain ‘cesspools’ of mass-fashion. I guess to someone who tries to play the numbers and predict what’s ahead, I quickly grow tired of ‘cool’ things by the time they actually become ‘cool.’ This isn’t a vanity thing–I’m pretty far away from that. This is just a personal pet-peeve. It’s a miniscule way that I can make my way out of a crowd and still dodge some trends that I never really bought into in the first place.
Uggs were at the top of this ‘please-don’t-ever-think-about-it’ list. What’s wrong with them? Nothing. But nothing is right with them either…so I vowed to never buy them. They were unattractive, masculine, shapeless, and devoid of any real colorful or design-related appeal that would self-proclaim ‘individualist.’ They fell into the ranks of the Croc’s, the ‘gaucho’ pants, and many other shocking chart-toppers of the past. And then I moved to New York.
I have survived many a winter in Kansas City…thinking that I knew all about the ‘inclement’ weather conditions. No one explained to me that it wasn’t just winter in New York; it was wind–powerful wind–that scorches the face and causes damage that even Vaseline can’t fix. It was morbidly dark, the slush was all over the streets, it snowed for months on end–well into April even. It was the kind of cold that was fine when you were in your car or your apartment (most commonly where I would have been in Kansas City). But here, there was such a thing called a ‘commute.’ Mine included rail transit plus eight minutes and thirty seconds of walking to get to Midtown. This eight and a half minutes was nearly the death of me on those first few weeks into the winter. My pea coat didn’t stand a chance. I swiped for a giant Northface parka at Bloomingdales in November, officially forfeiting my right to look like a badA on my way to work everyday. Still, the wind whipped through my jeans and I found my extremities freezing–including my behind (I believe that counts as an ‘extremity’ on me).
So that Christmas, I received my first set of Uggs. About five years ‘late’ into the trend and well-jaded by their reputation, especially in the footwear industry, I have never been more thrilled to receive an uglier present. I opened the box, which smelled like sushi, and gladly accepted my new winter shoes. I was so perplexed that he had scored these during the holiday season. Everywhere was out–trust me, I looked. I wore them all around the house and was so excited, when puffs of black fuzz started to track the ground. It must be because they were new. Surely everyone’s Ugg’s did this? They did fit a little funny as well. When I asked where they shipped from, “somewhere in China” was the response. They became ‘Fuggs.’
Fuggs, I have decided, are my Ugg’s that cannot be real. Now, the buyer doesn’t know that they are not real because they don’t say that they are either fake or real…one just assumes they are the same product online when they look identical and bear the same labels. They are created in China in little factories that house masterminded seamstresses who recklessly secure the appropriate collateral (packaging/tags/logo) and recreate the shoes out of cheaper material. Well, this cheaper material was all over the white carpet and took a fatal toll on about three pairs of socks in one week. But I didn’t care, they were warm. I wore them everyday to work without shame. I took the plunge and bought the ‘ballet’ crocs for when my hip was hurting badly. You can imagine how hot I was around campus working for one of fashion footwear’s ‘trendiest’ labels and changing into the designer shoes out of my fabulous fuggs or crocs.
Anyways, this all came about because I’ve been desperately searching for a very very specific pair of Christian Louboutin pumps to wear for my wedding. They retail at $895 and I refuse to pay that much for them. I’ve searched craigslist, ebay, and all the discount sites. After two months of looking, I finally found them at a decent price. A website with broken English, a personal email account listed as the contact, and a guarantee of product satisfaction, and a lot of Chinese writing is my only hope.
I’m keeping my eyes peeled in the mail for some Christian Louboutins…which very well could turn out to be ‘Fouboutins,’ if you know what I mean.