“Haspel’s owner, Laurie Aronson, has been a longtime supporter of LSU,” explains Mignon Kastanos, LSU Alumni Association director of marketing and communications. Kastanos says the idea for the LSU-themed suit was born during a meeting between Aronson and LSU Alumni Association Chief Operating Officer Steve Helmke. Once Aronson and Will Swillie, Haspel’s executive vice president and managing director, presented the potential fabric swatch, the Alumni Association knew this was the idea to pursue.
The limited-edition suit’s seersucker cotton fabric has its origins in Italy and is exclusive to Haspel, says Swillie. After a year of trial and error with the fabric, the team was able to achieve a unique purple and gold combination that was perfect for passionate Tiger fans.
“Will was driving force behind the suit’s design,” Kastanos says. “Interestingly, the first concept presented by the mill was gingham and was in a different color. Haspel worked closely with the mill to get the color, texture and weight to what is now the final product.”
The inspiration behind the suit, which is made in the United States, was Haspel’s interest in creating a piece that embodied its Louisiana heritage and resembled their strong ties to Louisiana’s flagship university, Kastanos says.
“This is specific to LSU,” Swillie says. “Steve loved it.”
Helmke sported an early sample of the suit, which features a gold jacket lining and flat-front pants, in Austin during the weekend of the LSU-University of Texas game. The feedback was immediate and enthusiastic, with admirers of the suit constantly asking Helmke to share the link where they could order their own, Kastanos says.
A purchase of the suit includes a one-year membership to the LSU Alumni Association, and the association will also receive a $100 donation in the customer’s name. Proceeds from sales of the suit will benefit the association and its mission to “engage LSU alumni and friends to help them thrive professionally, socially, and philanthropically; and ultimately strengthen their bonds and support to LSU and to each other.”
As a nonprofit organization, the LSU Alumni Association is supported by graduates, former students and friends of the university. With this support, the association has been able to support hundreds of scholarships, over 40 professorships, numerous faculty awards and funding for major LSU construction projects.
Pre-orders for the purple and gold seersucker suit are available on Haspel’s website here. Orders must be made by October 15, and they will ship by February 2020.
Haspel’s classic seersucker suits were selected as one of the 30 Southern essentials featured in inRegister’s 30th-anniversary issue, which is on newsstands now. Read more about these dapper duds and see the rest of the list here.
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