Reinventions are often incredible journeys, and they require mapping, as if you were going into battle in the face of opposition. Hopefully they succeed and flourish. In life, you have to be able to recognize and celebrate stylish moments. For me, seersucker is that style. The illusion that seersucker is a very conservative male garment persists in part thanks to distorted accounts that have confused conservative fashion ideas. If you still think of this gathered fabric as a heavy item, you haven’t discovered Haspel Menswear yet. Today, Laurie Haspel, CEO of Haspel (of First family of seersucker suits) proudly wears the crown as the reigning queen of the seersucker.
The word seersucker is derived from the Persian words “pure” and “shakkar”, meaning milk and sugar. What makes the fabric so light and airy is the combination of a smooth, bumpy texture (milk and sugar) that allows the fabric to pull away from the skin when worn. Today, the seersucker has progressed to adapt to changes in society by reinventing new codes of cut, comfort and style! Haspel is a creative and cultural brand that interprets the changes of the seersucker as they unfold in contemporary society, delivering fresh new thoughts and ideas into the appropriate and timely products of the moment.
Haspel is a family-owned American brand founded in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dating back to 1909, it quickly established its legacy when Joseph Haspel Sr. transformed the breathable seersucker fold of a worker’s uniform into an iconic gentleman’s suit. Today, fourth-generation owner Laurie Haspel leads the business with a creative vision rooted in the methodology of her great-grandfather …clothes made to have a good time!
The seersucker was brought to America from the British Colonial Indies in the 19th century. At first, the fabric was used to make overalls worn by workers in the hot and humid south. However, at the start of the 20th century, Joseph Haspel made seersucker for work clothes in New Orleans. At that time, he was known as a poor man’s fabric. Then one fine day, Mr. Haspel decided to take his chances by designing a lightweight fabric suit for businessmen.
From then on, the suit became a favorite in the south among businessmen. Before you knew it, Brooks Brothers figured it out and developed a line of seersuckers for the New York store. This fresh fashion item wowed the Great Gatsby gentlemen in the United States. On the other hand, the Ivy League students wore the costume in a rebellion style that was the reverse of tradition. Shortly thereafter, the seersucker was worn by FDR, Harry Truman and the Duke of Windsor as well as actor Gregory Peck in the film. Kill a mockingbird.
“Seersucker suits have always been one of my favorites on a man, especially in the summer. It keeps you cool and looks neat when you have to wear costumes during the summer. He reads fashionable and successful. The seersucker has come a long way in incorporating stretch and taking it into shirts and evening wear. Nothing better than a well dressed man in a Seersucker.“Sadia Seymour – Fashion Stylist and CEO of Behind The Rack
In 1977, the family sold Haspel seeing her change hands on several occasions and slowly lose her prominence in the menswear business. Sadly, slowly but surely Laurie Haspel started purchasing the licensed labels and in 2012 the Haspel family resumed operations. Better yet, in 2014, the US Congress declared National seersucker day, celebrate a national day where people can wear their seersucker with an effortless attitude and a fun loving American style.
The newly reloaded Haspel brand not only retained the brand’s rich heritage, but instead began to create a new line of seersucker suits and athletic wear to capture the interest of Millennials and Gen Z alike.
It’s time for Americans to take into account that clothing made in the United States significantly reduces carbon footprints. In addition, Haspel is currently researching and developing new methods of sustainability. Specifically, Haspel is creating American jobs during a time of economic uncertainty.
I recently sat down with President and CEO Laurie Haspel to talk about how her great-grandfather was one of the first to pioneer textile technology, why Seersucker is more colorful and versatile than ever and why Haspel has maintained custom clothing manufacturing in the United States – proudly, here in the USA!
Joseph DeAcetis: Comfort seems to be a key aspect of your lines, is it a primary consideration for your creations?
Laurie Haspel: is always at the forefront of selecting fabrics and designs for Haspel. We’re drawn to lightweight fabrics that move, stretch, and breathe the way you do.
JD: Part of the success of your line can be attributed to the current American concern for style in leisure time. Do you think this trend will continue?
LH: Style, even on the go, has long been part of Haspel’s TUSEN and we don’t plan on changing that. My great-grandfather was also the innovator in adding technical properties to the fabric; therefore, he pioneered a trend that is still ongoing.
JD: What other design direction would you like to take with the seersucker?
LH: A line for women has been in our minds for a very long time. It would make sense to explore our ideas about women in a few key categories. We are also seeing a natural evolution in home products.
JD: Given the fashion preferences of the traditional man, wasn’t it risky to introduce a seersucker line in orange, red and green?
LH: Not at all! You would be surprised how many men want to introduce some color into their wardrobe. Because we sell our bespoke clothing separately, we often see men ordering just a jacket or pants in a fun color to coordinate with other items in their wardrobe.
JD: Tell our readers about how, why, and what makes seersucker cool again?
LH: Seersucker a always been cool – we just styled it differently than before – and so did our Haspel customers. The seersucker is more versatile than ever. We have a wide variety of seersuckers in our sportswear line and it’s relevant 12 months a year. Repeat. 12 months a year.
JD: Given the source and manufacturer of many overseas brands, talk to TUSEN to find out how and why Haspel is successful in product development here in the United States.
LH: Haspel’s genesis was in the United States. Our custom clothing factory had been right here in New Orleans for many years. Our roots are in the United States and we want to produce here whenever we can, which is why we have kept our custom clothing manufacturing in the United States.
JD: In short, can you give us some insight into the big story as well as your personal lineage to the Haspel brand?
LH: My great-grandfather, Joseph Haspel Sr, founded Haspel in 1909. He saw a need for comfort and style in bespoke men’s clothing and he pioneered a continuous wave of innovation in the field. of fabric – not only in seersucker, but also developed the first technical fabric to be used. in tailor-made clothes with her wash-n-wear suits. I grew up with my grandfather, Joseph Haspel Jr, running the company and visited him in the factory while growing up. I remember my grandparents first taking me to New York when I was 10 years old. My grandfather worked downtown during the day, and my grandmother and I would meet him at the 21 Club for dinner. 21 was their New York “Galatory”.
JD: What’s your best piece of advice to Millennials and Gen Zs on how to flex while wearing a seersucker?
LH: Style seersucker your way. There are no rules. Be confident.
JD: If a man shows up as a seersucker and his friends laugh at him for being too fancy, how should he react?
LH: Well, it’s good to be the best dressed, best looking guy in the room.
JD: If the the south has risen, so what do you think of a man wearing seersucker on his first date to impress?
LH: It depends on its style and its destination. You will never be comfortable in what you wear unless you have confidence in yourself. If wearing seersucker makes you feel good then wear it. A lot of times I tell people to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with different looks (women do the same). At the end of the day, you need to be confident in your outfit or it just won’t work.
JD: In terms of breathable options men can wear in the warmer months, why do you think most men are drawn to linens rather than seersucker? Why do you think they should lean towards the seersucker?
LH: We love linen, but we love seersucker even more. Most people don’t fully understand seersucker. Most believe it is just a stripe and only blue and white; this is the traditional look. Seersucker is simply a process you apply to a fabric to help it peel away from your skin to breathe and be more comfortable. Our sportswear seersucker options clearly reflect the seersucker in a different way that most are not used to seeing.
JD: As one of the world’s leading seersucker companies, who or what do you think are your biggest competitors?
LH: Haspel is the original. Others are imitators. Many other brands associate seersucker with just being a stripe and this is where they go wrong (this is evident from their flat striped fabrics). Haspel uses the highest quality seersucker (in fact, we just introduced a new stretch seersucker) that puckers as it should.
JD: Tell our readers some upcoming trends that Haspel can’t wait to release in 2021?
LH: STRETCH is here! We’ve finally designed a 3% stretch seersucker fabric woven into the high-quality seersucker that continues to pucker as you’d expect.