Saturday, March 24, 2018

Shoes: Australian Icons

Beer gut, Bonds singlets, stubbies (shorts) and thongs (made in China) are unmistakable the marks of the true-blue male Ocker. POHMS may have superior underwear via Marks and Spencer but I doubt whether they have a singlet to beat a Bondy.

Whether we like it or not the humble thong, single or double plugger, is very much part of the Australian way of life for many and of course has recently enjoyed a fashion fling in the northern hemisphere. Still despite this not many citizens can boast of a thong throwing contest, but Australians can. No words yet as to whether this will aspire to an Olympic event but stranger things have happened.

Not that everyone would want to admit it, but a common parental punishment meted out to children in less enlightened days was a good backside tanning with your parent’s favourite thong. Now politically incorrect of course, many of us still bare the scars with pride. The love of thongs has even inspired poetry, as exemplified by Colin Thiele’s immortal words.

Thong are left over footsoles.
They are a part of their owners,
More human and personal
Than shirts or underpants.

Thongs know the feel of the ground:
They are like people’s footprints left lying around.

Appears all things Australian have taken American by storm and there has been a feeding frenzy to own a pair of Australian made Ugg boots. A complete sell out in shops, including Bloomimgdale’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, they exchanged hands via web auctions and reached a pretty penny, too.

Hollywood lovelies like Sandra Bulloch, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz cannot get enough of them. Ugg sales took a real rise when they appeared on The Oprah Wimfrey Show.

Back in the 70s Australian surfer Brian Smith came to California on the look out for something to bring back to Australia, instead he soon realised the US surfers had no ugg boots and set to filling the market by importing the boots from Australia and New Zealand. The existing US and Mexican sheepskin footwear industry was cottage based and these were systematically bought them out establishing the Ugg Australia Brand in 1978. Smoth sold the business in 1995 and now they are sold as luxury sheepskin footwear advertised in Vogue and Elle.

Cock A 3004 You little booty:Ugg and American shoo-in The Sunday
Times January 4 2004

Reviewed 24/03/2018

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