eckhaus latta made the uggs we wish we had in high school

The 00s footwear classic just got a major reboot courtesy of Mike and Zoe.

by Jack Sunnucks
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Aug 7 2019, 5:30pm

Last February, Eckhaus Latta presented a collection that was both polished and homespun, showcasing their love of experimenting with new materials—and perhaps, most notably, shearling and sheepskin by way of a new collaboration with UGG. Fur clogs and open-toed mules made their way down the runway, topped with lush sheepskin shawl coats and vests. “It was definitely a funny thing when they approached us,” says Mike Eckhaus, talking on behalf of him and his co-designer Zoe Latta from New York. “Everyone has so many different connotations for UGG. For people who are mine and Zoe’s age, when UGG was at peak saturation we were in high school, there’s a lot of associations as it being part of the high school wardrobe. It’s definitely been amazing and eye-opening in what UGG is and can be.”

It sounds like it was a fruitful collaboration to say the least. The footwear is inherently Eckhaus Latta in its square, unisex shapes, while the outwear gives a kind of wild, glamorous shagginess to the collection (especially when worn by Jane Mosely and Coco Gordon Moore, as it was in the show). “What was really special about working them was how receptive they were to working with our ideas,” says Mike. “It was important to us, however, that it wasn’t subverted to the point that the essence was lost.” Which it definitely isn’t — in using some of the longer shearling, there’s what Mike describes as “a kind of bleached tips element to it” — the best of 00s fashion indeed. “It’s fun to reference those kind of crafty techniques but have it produced in this incredible technical way so it’s not a weird project.”

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What’s great about the footwear is that it fits seamlessly within the Eckhaus Latta vocabulary for footwear. “I think there’s always these personal connotations for shoes that we always end up gravitating to really quickly,” says Mike. “Zoe always likes a smaller foot, I like a bigger foot,” he laughs, talking about silhouette. “And we circle around that to see what makes sense. The motifs that we’ve been playing with have transcended from one shoe to another — whether it’s designing that blocky square toe or the kind of clog/pump/mule that we’ve played with. But there’s no singular approach where we’re like ‘shoes mean this for us.’”

The campaign, shot by Zoe Ghertner and styled by Avena Gallagher, features the AW19 capsule that includes five footwear styles (three women’s and two unisex) and the four outerwear pieces. It was shot at Mono Lake in California, and celebrates the splendor of the American landscape, which given UGG’s West-Coast heritage and the bi-coastal nature of Eckhaus Latta’s brand, perfectly showcases the striking mélange of their two worlds. “We wanted to give a sense of grandeur to it, and give it this salt lake quality to it where it’s not super green. That feels very us and very timely. Something that’s grand but also precarious at times. And thinking about this American landscape. Mono lake was a really cool location to shoot at because it has this otherworldly quality.” The square-toed block boot, in which the designers reimagine UGG’s classic short boot, and shawl coat tipped in Toscana sheepskin, are seen against a background of snow-capped mountains and the desolate lakes. It’s gives a sci-fi frisson to the proceedings, like a sci-fi film set. “I don’t know how we see Eckhaus Latta moving forward, but there’s more to the world than LA and New York,” says Mike. “If we can push it into an otherness, than unknown landscape, there’s this potential for it being somewhere out in the world. That has a vastness to it.” As does the infinite potential of Eckhaus Latta.

The collection is available for purchase on September 3, at UGG.com and retailers worldwide including Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com, SSENSE and SSENSE.com.

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