Former Ugg boot manufacturer in receivership

Troubled times for a fluffy sheepskin boot brand that shod stars such as Oprah Winfrey.
Joseph Johnson

Troubled times for a fluffy sheepskin boot brand that shod stars such as Oprah Winfrey.

A company that was once New Zealand's largest producer of so-called "ugly boots" is in receivership.

A Canterbury Leather International (CLI) newsletter to customers advertised a receivership sale as a last chance to buy the discounted product and said all stock had to go. 

According to the Companies Office, Canterbury Leather International was placed in receivership on October 17.

A CLI staff member referred Stuff to receiver Geoff Brown at Rodgers Reidy, but he was unavailable to comment. 

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In its hey day the Christchurch factory custom-made 40 pairs of boots for talk show host Oprah and her team, and its fluffy footwear found favour with celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Pierce Brosnan and Cher.

The company was founded in 1974 by Doug and Gill Price to manufacture sheepskin items, primarily for the export market.

In the 1980s CLI formed an alliance with Brian Smith, the original founder of UGG Holdings and the UGG Australia brand, which was later bought by Deckers.

Ian Hunter​ bought CLI in 2009 and the following year launched premium handcrafted sheepskin apparel under the Dominion brand in Italy, Korea, Japan, Russia and the US.

But 55 staff were laid off from the Christchurch factory after it lost a major contract in 2011.

The company made its last boots for UGG Australia after Decker Outdoor Corporation, which trade marked the word "ugg" and owns the UGG Australia brand, moved New Zealand production to China. 

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CLI continued to sell the popular sheepskin boots under the Canterbury Sheepskin and Dominion brands, but could not use the word ugg in its branding or advertising.





 - Stuff


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