The LSU Association collaborates with Haspel to make a unique LSU-themed version of their iconic seersucker suit.
In 1909, Joseph Haspel, Sr. created the seersucker suit, a suit made with a unique fabric that’s usually checkered or striped, and breathable enough to fight off the Louisiana heat. Now celebrating their 110th year, the Haspel company is known for their suits in Louisiana and all over the world.
The idea for the Geaux Tigers Seersucker Suit came about in a meeting, where eventually both parties began to talk about different ways to grow engagement and awareness of the Alumni Association in addition to better telling Haspel’s story.
“You know they’re this unique Louisiana brand that’s had a global impact with the creation of the seersucker suit, so that brand is such a good fit for LSU in that respect and vice versa,” said Steve Helmke, LSU Alumni Association’s Chief Operating Officer.
A traditional seersucker suit includes one singular color with an alternating stripe of white, so adding purple and gold to the mix was a tedious task to master.
Working at their mill in Italy, the Executive Vice President of Haspel, Will Swillie, worked on altering, scaling and recoloring multiple variations of the initial fabric sample to show to the LSU Association. The creation of the final product took about a year to create.
“For us it’s about sharing those traditions and creating new ones, and creating engaging relationships, so there’s nothing like walking around with a unique suit to foster that type of interaction,” Helmke said.
Weaved in Italy and tailored in the U.S., the Geaux Tigers Seersucker Suit is made of 100% cotton by using the handloom weaving technique. It is offered in Haspel’s classic Audubon Traditional Fit with a flat front trouser. It also has a two back side vents, a single breasted notch lapel and is quarter lined with a bold gold lining.
The LSU seersucker suit would be perfect for any setting where you can support the University, from LSU Alumni Chapter functions to LSU Foundation events.
“It’s something different you know, it’s something unique and special, but you can wear it with comfort and not feel like you’re suit walks in the room before you do,” Swillie said.
The suit itself is extremely versatile, with its pieces selling as separates. This allows customers to make the choice of wearing the jacket with jeans for a more casual look or just the trousers with a nice shirt for a more formal outfit.
“I think these types of partnerships and relationships are beneficial and valuable to the reputation and brand awareness of LSU as a whole, as well as the Alumni Association, and what we’re trying to do to become more and more valuable to our alumni each and every day,” Helmke said. "We’re excited about key opportunities to provide support for our existing students as well as our young alumni, and on up to our more mature alumni as well so we’re very thankful to Haspel for being a partner in that.”
Every purchase includes a $100 donation which goes to support the various services that are provided by the Alumni Association, and a free membership to the LSU Alumni Association for a year. The suit is a pre-order item on Haspel’s website and being offered until Oct. 15, 2019. The suit is being sold for $695 and will be shipped in February 2020.
“We were just really pleased to work with them and to give back and support the youth of our university and the Alumni Association,” Swillie said. "We started in New Orleans in 1909 and we’ve been here for 110 years and we support our community, we support the university and this was just another way of doing it.”