THE MOCCASIN, footwear of choice for the flower children of the '60s and prepsters of the '80s, is back in full, fringed force.
Mischa Barton, Kate Moss, Nicole Richie, Hilary Duff, the Olsens -- you know, the masters of the new boho chic thing -- have made them the new Ugg boot, pairing them with denim cutoffs, miniskirts and leggings. Fraser Ross, owner of the celebrity trend hub Kitson, says moccasins are his most popular item -- he's been selling about 600 pairs a month since February.
"The look is for the free-spirited girl," Ross says, "plus, they're really comfortable."
Minnetonka Moccasins started selling the shoes in 1946 at roadside resorts and souvenir shops, and they're still making the classic styles -- fringed slip-ons, beaded thunderbird styles and fringed booties -- and selling them for about $30 to $40 for the shoes, and $30 to $40 for booties. Of course, now that moccasins are so popular, designers are getting in the game with their own versions. All of them look strikingly similar to the original Minnetonkas -- except for the price tag.
Minnetonka's suede Kilty style comes in eight colors and sells for $29.95. For summer, the French label A.P.C. is making a pair, sans fringe, for $250. Designer Penelope Chilvers' slip-on moc comes in brown, black and white and costs $310. Even Jessica Simpson has hopped on the moc-wagon, with the girlie pink Mocca Flat for $70.
For the trendiest earthy girls, the suede ankle boots with fringe have been irresistible. And why not, when the Minnetonka version is $34.95. Jimmy Choo's Warp boot is a mirror image except for some white whipstitching. It's $495.
For that, you'd think you'd get a high heel.