This Happened

ShockBottoms Sweatpants: Support Darfur On Your Ass [UPDATED]

Pre-order your progressiveness today!
screen shot 2012 04 16 at 11 47 36 am ShockBottoms Sweatpants: Support Darfur On Your Ass [UPDATED]

via ShockBottoms.com

This is definitely a real thing! Update below.

Have you ever sat around dreaming up ways to make your backside appear more socially conscious? Us neither. But the idea has apparently occurred to a California startup called ShockBottoms.

The company, which has yet to pick up any Twitter followers, appears to be taking preorders for American Apparel sweatpants emblazoned with “Darfur” or Che Guevara silkscreens where the “Juicy” should be.

“Broadcast edgy messages (from your derrière) that make people look, and then think,” the site advertises.

We’re not sure whether this is a belated April Fool’s Joke, online performance art about label-obsessed consumer culture, or a real venture. (We’ve reached out the company/pranksters to find out.) But there is already so much to marvel over: such as the fact that the sweatpants read not “Save Darfur,” but merely “Darfur,” as though it were your college alma mater. Between that and the Che face, ShockBottoms seems to have achieved the kind of global awareness one picks up by perusing the Urban Outfitters publishing catalog.

If those statements are too progressive for your patoot, however, ShockBottoms offers some less “shocking” options. There is also a QR code option destined to become a Tumblr submission, a mustache, and “Honor Student” lettering–no doubt a trenchant critique on inequalities in the American education system.

Hat tip to Hunch engineer Benjamin Gleitzman, without whom our asses would appear, like, totes apathetic.

UPDATE: Well, well, well, no wonder Mr. Gleitzman was the first to alert us to ShockBottoms. “This is certainly for real and and I am the founder of the company,” he told Betabeat by email. The company is also more charitable than we gave it credit for. All the proceeds from the “Darfur” line will be donated to Save Darfur. “I am toying with the idea of offering a college scholarship with the proceeds from the ‘Honor Student’ line,” he added.

Mr. Gleitzman will be maintaining his role as a software engineer at Hunch, “but I think the world needs more butt-inspired progressiveness,” he noted. The company uses local screen printer in Oakland, but is otherwise entirely bootstrapped with no outside investment. Mr. Gleitzman’s inspiration came from wanting help men and women “rock” a more cosmopolitan message  . . . on their rump:

“Sweat pants are awesome because they are comfy and make for excellent formal attire. Women rocked and continue to rock phrases like ‘Juicy’ and ‘Princess’ on their derrière, an attractive and sassy form of self-expression that is largely inaccessible to those outside the Jersey Shore. Enter Shock Bottoms: highbrow loungewear for the rest of us.”

Who does he see as potential customers? “My target audience is anyone with a butt and a smile :D”

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com