The roots of UGG Australia can be traced back to the sandy beaches of Byron Bay, where Australian surfers began wearing sheepskin footwear for warmth between sessions. In the late 1960's and early 70's surfers first discovered this area and came in small bands to ride the unique waves. They would stay for weeks on end, and during these stays, many looked for ways to keep their feet warm and dry. Because of an abundance of sheepskin in Australia, the surfers often turned to hand-made basic sheepskin "footies" for natural warmth, comfort and to wick away moisture. It was here that the foundation was laid for a brand that would later become a worldwide phenomenon. In 1978, Brian Smith, the company's founder, landed in Southern California with a bag of sheepskin boots and hope. So he founded the UGG brand, began selling his sheepskin boots and they were an immediate sensation. The UGG brand began to symbolize those who embraced sport and a relaxed, active lifestyle. More than that, an emotional connection and a true feeling of love began to grow for UGG boots, just as Brian had envisioned. The evolution of UGG from a brand that made sheepskin boots, slippers, clogs and sandals for an active, outdoor lifestyle to a brand that was now being touted as a symbol of a stylish, casual and luxurious lifestyle was swift. Today, as a fashion brand, UGG advertisements now graced the pages of Vogue Magazine as well as other fashion books. What started as a niche item, UGG sheepskin boots were now a must-have staple in everyone's wardrobe.