The UGG® story began in 1978, when Brian Smith, a young surfer from Australia, took a trip to the United States with a bag full of sheepskin boots. After finding a new home amongst California surfers, the UGG® brand began to take shape. Deckers Outdoor Corporation acquired UGG® in 1995. By 1998, the product line had grown to include two boots, four slippers, and a few casuals. It was in 1998 that UGG® brand first stepped up alongside the world's finest luxury footwear brands. UGG® was positioned as a high-end luxury brand, made evident by a premium distribution strategy and high-end fashion marketing and communications. The luxury and comfort of UGG® proved to be a perfect fit for the high-end footwear world. The media reach expanded into more and more high-end magazine titles. The business continued to grow steadily as UGG® reached beyond the beaches of California to New York City - and beyond. In 2003, UGG® was named Footwear News' "Brand of the Year" and was responsible for the creation of an entirely new category of footwear. UGG® has also been featured on "Oprah's Favorite Things" five times since 2000, most recently in the Fall of 2010. Sheepskin footwear is seen on the runways in Milan, Paris and New York; and it all began on the beach in Australia.