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UGG Australia has promoted Leah Larson to creative director, a newly created position.
This story first appeared in the January 3, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Previously, Larson spent seven years as vice president of product for the Deckers Outdoor Corp.-owned brand, where she helped expand Ugg’s product offering. Larson will still report to Ugg president Connie Rishwain, and continue working from the company’s headquarters in Goleta, Calif.
“Leah continues to elevate the brand and has been integral to the success of Ugg and reaching the $1 billion mark this year,” Rishwain said.
One of Larson’s first orders of business will include judging Ugg’s ninth annual Art & Sole contest, in which emerging artists submit their own Ugg boot designs via social media. The submission deadline was Monday, and voting on the best design will take place from today to Jan. 5. Winning artists will be announced on Jan. 18.
The winner of the vote will be awarded Ugg footwear, and the winner chosen by Larson will win $5,000. That contestant will also have their designs serve as an inspiration for a limited edition boot available in 2012.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the limited edition boot will go to the Boys & Girls Club of America.
The contest, which usually restricts submissions to celebrities, is part of the brand’s effort to grow its customer base.
In the past year, the brand has introduced an expanded men’s collection, as well as an upscale line of handbags and footwear.
Last year, Ugg raked in sales of $873.1 million and, according to the company, has already topped $1 billion in sales for 2011.