Chippendales is a touring dance troupe best known for its male striptease performances and for its dancers' distinctive upper body costume of a bow tie, collar, and shirt cuffs worn on an otherwise bare torso.
Established in 1979, Chippendales was the first all-male stripping troupe to make a business performing for mostly female audiences. Through the quality of its staging and choreography, Chippendales also helped legitimize stripping as a form of popular entertainment.
The company produces Broadway-style burlesque shows worldwide and licenses its intellectual property for select consumer products ranging from apparel and accessories to slot machines and video games. The Chippendales perform in a ten-million-dollar theater and lounge built specifically for them at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Annually, the men of Chippendales are seen by almost two million people worldwide, performing in more than 25 cities in the U.S., 23 cities in Central and South America, 60 European cities, four Asian countries, and eight South African cities.
Chippendales was founded by India-born Somen "Steve" Banerjee. In 1975, Banerjee bought a failing West Los Angeles bar named Destiny II. In 1979 he renamed the bar to "Chippendales" and began hosting exotic dance nights for women, which became a major hit.
Similar nightclubs soon followed. Banerjee was worried about the competition and attempted to burn down at least three of them.
In 1987, Banerjee hired a hit-man to murder his choreographer Nick De Noia. He also plotted to have two other former associates killed. Banerjee was arrested in 1993 and hanged himself in his cell a year later.
The company continues to battle similar male revues in the courts. Chippendales successfully registered its "Cuffs and Collar" uniform as a trademark in 2003, following an agreement between Hugh Hefner and Nahin, brokered by Stratton sometime around 1980. However, because this registration was based on "acquired distinctiveness", Chippendales filed a subsequent application for the same mark in an effort to have the mark recognized as being inherently distinctive. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board affirmed the decision of the examiner that the mark was not inherently distinctive with one member of the panel dissenting. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board noted that its decision in no way detracted from the rights flowing from the registration in 2003: "However, the fact that the applicant already owns an incontestable registration for the Cuffs & Collar Mark should serve as no small consolation in spite of our decision here."
On October 1, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Nothing in that decision affected the validity of the 2003 registration. One of the reasons for upholding the decision was the testimony of Chippendales' own expert, who admitted the male dancers' outfits were "inspired" by those of the Playboy Bunny, who also feature a bow-tie and shirt cuffs. In April 2011, St. Joseph, Missouri, police shut down a show by a Chippendales impostor group, alleging that it violated Missouri's adult entertainment laws.
Notable dancers and hosts
Former The Bachelor fiancée Vienna Girardi hosted the Chippendales' "Ultimate Girls Night Out" in November 2010. Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars hosted the following month. Ronnie Magro of Jersey Shore guest hosted an event in February 2011. It was reported that Jeff Timmons would be performing with the group through the summer. In 2012, Joey Lawrence was a dancer for a special engagement in June at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Former dancers from the inception of the 1980s Chippendales choreographed show include Michael Rapp, John Bernard Richardson, Dean Mammales, Scott Marlowe, and Jonathan Hagan.
In popular culture
Director Tony Scott was reportedly working on a film about Banerjee and the Chippendales story at the time of his death and Producer Alan Ball is reportedly working on a story loosely based on the deaths surrounding Chippendales which was to start filming in January 2014. In July 2017, it was announced that Dev Patel is cast as Banerjee and Ben Stiller as De Noia. Production was expected to start in 2018 with a working title of "I am Chippendales"
Bollywood actor producer Salman Khan has announced a biopic on Somen Banerjee's life and journey of Chippendales.
- David Henry Sterry: Master of Ceremonies: A True Story of Love, Murder, Roller Skates and Chippendales (Grove Atlantic, 2008, ISBN 978-1841958767)
- Liepe-Levinson, Katherine (2002). Strip Show: Performances of Gender and Desire. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-17381-0.
- Chinitz, Daniel (2017-02-08). "Chippendales is 'living the dancer's dream,' says Chippendales dancer". The Badger Herald. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
- "Chippendales celebrate 30 years",[permanent dead link] ABC 13 Action News (Las Vegas) (Mar. 6, 2009).
- "Cyanide in the beefcake: Somen Banerjee, inventor of the Chippendales,". The Independent. 1993-12-13. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
- "Chippendale Club Owner Kills Himself". Los Angeles Times. 1994-10-25. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
- "Tony Scott tackles Chippendales founder's biopic". the Guardian. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
- , United States Patent and Trademark Office
- "In Re Chippendales USA, Inc. Serial No. 78665898", United States Patent and Trademark Office (Dec. 4, 2008).
- "USPTO TTABVUE. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System". Ttabvue.uspto.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- Morran, Chris. "Chippendales Fail At Trademarking Dancers' Outfits", The Consumerist (Oct. 4, 2010).
- Bartz, Diane. "Chippendales stumbles in trademark attempt", Reuters (Oct. 1, 2010).
- "St. Joseph Shuts Down 'Chippendales' Show: Four Male Dancers Issued Summonses" Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press (Apr. 8, 2011).
- "Official Chippendales Set Record Straight and Offer Calendars to Victims of Imposter Revue Shut Down by Police in St. Joseph, Missouri", PR Web (Apr. 11, 2011).
- Moore, Matthew. "Chippendales dance troupe sues rival strippers", The Telegraph (May 25, 2009).
- "Vienna Girardi Poses With Chippendales Dancers, Gets Tied Up", Huffington Post (Oct. 6, 2010).
- Mandell, Nina. "Former 98 Degrees' bandmate Jeff Timmons to join cast of Chippendales—but will he strip?", New York Daily News (Apr. 15, 2011).
- Ward, Kate. "98 Degrees' Jeff Timmons will raise Chippendales' temperature for a limited run", Entertainment Weekly (Apr. 13 2011).
- "Joey Lawrence is a Chippendales dancer!". Entertainment Weekly. June 11, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
- Rogers, Nate (March 31, 2020). "Chris Farley Should Be Remembered for His Grace, Not His Falls". The Ringer.
- Block, Tara (27 June 2012). "Chippendales and the Evolution of Male Stripper". Pop Sugar. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
- The Chippendales Murder entry, Internet Movie Database. Accessed Apr. 22, 2011.
- Bianculli, David. "Murder Most Banal: Chippendales reveals little", New York Daily News (Nov. 7, 2000).
- Just Can't Get Enough entry, Internet Movie Database. Accessed Apr. 22, 2011.
- Brunton, Richard. "Tony Scott filming Chippendales biography", Filmstalker (Oct. 31, 2009).
- "Chippendales Murder Saga Has Dev Patel, Ben Stiller & Bold Films in Pole Position". 2017-07-17.
- "Salman Khan to produce biopic on Somen Banerjee, male striptease club Chippendales".
- "The Las Vegas Chippendales Dancers Turned Their Routines Into Quarantine Workout Videos". Parents. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chippendales.|
- Official Chippendales site USA
- Official Chippendales site Germany
- Obituary of Somen Banerjee
- Image of women watching a performance of male exotic dancers at Chippendales in Los Angeles, California, 1986. Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive (Collection 1429). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.