A St. Louis teenager who was frustrated with his classmates' lemming-like following of a popular clothing line came up with a line of parody apparel and now faces a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
The South Butt was started in 2007 by Jimmy Winkelmann, who is now 18. He wanted to poke fun at the kids at his high school who all bought the exact same North Face jackets and vests. Each year he's made a few thousand dollars; at first the money went back into the company, but last year he helped his parents pay for his tuition at the University of Missouri.
Even though the company wasn't very large, it still caught the attention of The North Face. In August they sent him a cease and desist request. The South Butt refused. This month The North Face filed suit.
As you might imagine, all of the media coverage has dramatically increased sales of The South Butt. A couple of places around here are selling the t shirts, fleeces, and shorts. Today I saw a mom wearing the branded hoodie when she dropped her son off for preschool today. She said the first time she tried to get one, the store was out of her size, and she had to wait for another shipment to arrive.
I don't know if I'd wear one of the shirts, but I'm sure I'm not the company's target market; I wouldn't wear a North Face item either.