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As he’s shown in the past, RocketNews24’s intrepid Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato is a stylish guy. As a matter of fact, he’s got such a flair for fashion that when clothing brand Uniqlo brought back its service where you can design your own T-shirts, which can then be purchased by other shoppers, he leapt into action and created the most seductively sensual look possible: a black short-sleeve plastered with his own handsome mug.

Unfortunately, Uniqlo rejected the design, and not just because Mr. Sato’s visage is so steamy its borderline illegal, but because of a lack of confirmation that he owns it.

This isn’t the first time Uniqlo has offered the service, excitedly called UTme! Just like it did last year, UTme! Market lets you add text, photos, or other graphics to a single-color Uniqlo T-shirt by using its free smartphone app, downloadable here.

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Eager to share his unique aesthetic sensibilities with the world, Mr. Sato quickly got to work. His first attempt culminated in the sleekly futuristic “Robo-Satou” design.

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Still, all those metallic colors just seemed too cold for such a hotly passionate man. So Robo-Satou was scrapped and our reporter really brought the heat with his second T-shirt.

▼ Translation: I love curry!

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Having crafted obviously the world’s coolest T-shirt, Mr. Sato submitted the design, after which it would be available for anyone to purchase through the UTme! Market website. However, Uniqlo says it may take up to two weeks for submissions to become available, and 13 days later, Mr. Sato’s mug still wasn’t accounted for on the site. Instead, he received an email from Uniqlo which informed him his design had been rejected due to the possibility he did not own the rights to the likeness of the person on the shirt.

In other words, the legal ownership of Mr. Sato’s face was in question.

This actually isn’t the first time Uniqlo, intellectual property regulations, and Mr. Sato’s face haven’t been able to get their ducks in a row. When the UTme! Service was offered last year, Mr. Sato also submitted a shirt with his face on it, which was similarly flagged, perhaps because the picture also appeared on the RockwtNews24 website. This time, the problem seems to be that Mr. Sato used the picture where he’s rocking that sweet combination of headband and shades in one of his tweets back in January, and its preexistence on the Internet seems to have given Uniqlo qualms about printing and selling it.

While we’re touched that someone at Uniqlo is working diligently to protect our man’s likeness, we’re also a little sad not to have a closet full of Mr. Sato T-shirts. There’s also the question of what good at all having a face is if you can’t put it on clothing.

In light of that, we’re considering auctioning off Mr. Sato’s face to the highest bidder. Leave your bid in the comments, and tell us whether you’d like to own it for an identity-changing surgical procedure à la 1997 action movie Face/Off, or if you’d just like to stroke his whiskers while you drink a glass of fine cognac as a bracer after a tough day at the office.

Note: Given the nebulous status of its legal ownership, RocketNews24 makes no guarantee of actually supplying the winning bidder with Mr. Sato’s face.

Related: UTme! website
Top image: RocketNews24
Insert images: Uniqlo, RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]