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Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
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Columbia MBA Student’s T-Shirt Goes Viral

Columbia University

Columbia MBA Student’s T-Shirt Goes Viral

An MBA student’s t-shirt has become a viral sensation. San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle was spotted wearing his apparel in a news conference shortly after the 49ers secured their ticket to the Super Bowl.

The t-shirt, which features a shirtless photo of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, is the creation of John Wolfe, a second-year at Columbia Business School. Wolfe launched his t-shirt company, ShirtFaced, as part of a b-school class at Columbia.

“I’ve been sitting here for a year trying to make this thing go viral, and I finally did it, and it has resulted in virtually nothing on our end,” Wolfe tells SF Gate. “There have been a ton of stories about the shirt, but it’s been hard to trace it back to us in any way.”


Columbia Business School’s John Wolfe

Wolfe launched ShirtFaced back in 2018 with his friend Eric Rehe through a course at Columbia called “Launch Your Startup.”

ShirtFaced essentially lets you upload a photo and design your own t-shirt. It’s a simple tool and one that Wolfe tells SF Gate is a fun way for users to share an inside joke.

This isn’t the first time the company’s t-shirts have found viral sensation.

Back in 2019, USA Today reported that Tiger Woods sported a ShirtFaced t-shirt with his mugshot on display. Despite the virality of the moment, Wolfe’s company wasn’t credited.

But Wolfe, who previously interned for an NFL team, says he was able to get his t-shirts in front of NFL players by simply fan mailing them out.

And, it seems, that strategy has worked.

“This just showed up in my locker on Monday, it’s awesome,” Kittle said during a live interview on ESPN. “Someone sent me this during the week and I just saved it.”

Sources: SF Gate, ShirtFaced