In a blow to dumb T-shirt lovers everywhere, "The Butt Face" is no more.
The clothing brand, a spoof on preppy fleece-maker The North Face, was ordered by a Missouri judge to shut down its operations last week, according to a court filing.
The closure isn't a clear-cut loss for Butt Face founder Jimmy Winkelmann Jr., who started his, er, butt-venture back in 2007 at the age of 16, with the launch of another spoof called "The South Butt." Winkelmann has profited handsomely over the years, paying for college with the profits from The South Butt and launching another brand, Olop, a parody of Polo Ralph Lauren.
With the support of his dad, Winkelmann originally sold South Butt hats, fleeces and T-shirts online and in a pharmacy near his home in St. Louis. In 2009, when The North Face noticed and tried to shut them down, the Winkelmanns fought it in court.
In 2010, the two parties settled, and it seemed like The South Butt would slowly shrink into obscurity. But instead of abandoning his plan, Winkelmann launched "The Butt Face."
The North Face wasn't any more thrilled the second time around. On October 16, a judge ordered the Winkelmanns to abandon their application for "The Butt Face" trademark, shut down their web store and Facebook page, surrender all merchandise and pay $65,000.
As Gawker points out, the lengthy legal battle gave the Winkelmanns one opportunity they obviously relished -- discussing the many connotations of the word "butt" in court, all without breaking out of bawdy character:
What is 'unwholesome or degrading' is, like obscenity, a matter of subjective interpretation," the Winkelmanns wrote in a court document that responded, among other things, to The North Face's claim that "The Butt Face" was tarnishing its own brand. "Defendents will certainly concede that their parody is immature, and, indeed, sophomoric and not tremendously clever. That, however, is not the same as unwholesome or degrading. 'As smooth as a baby's butt' does not conger up unwholesomeness or degradation. To the contrary, it emotes purity and piety.