Carson Kressley and Luigi Bianchi with Laurie Aronson


Laurie Aronson brought a little slice of New Orleans to New York City Tuesday night.

The fourth generation and chief executive officer of the family-owned Haspel brand hosted a dinner at Bo’s, a Southern-inspired restaurant on 24th Street that she said was intended to drive home the point that the brand is more than just a spring staple.

Joseph Haspel Jr. founded the brand in New Orleans in 1909 using a puckered cloth from India called seersucker for men’s suits. But Aronson said the brand now has a year-round assortment and invited a group of bloggers, influencers and traditional press to dinner to get the word out. Television personality Carson Kressley, a longtime fan of the brand, also attended.

Aronson created cocktails and selected a menu that included fried alligator and beignets in keeping with the brand’s history. And attendees went home with a bag of pretzel crunch from her hometown of Baton Rouge, La., a crunchy candy concoction she said was “addicting.”

The evening also served to introduce Will Swillie, a longtime men’s wear veteran, who joined Haspel last month as executive vice president and managing director.

Will Swillie

Will Swillie  VLASTA PILOT

Aronson also did her best to make sure her guests mingled. They drew cards to see where they would sit in the beginning and then in between the next two courses. “If you don’t like who you’re sitting with,” Swillie said, “that’s OK. You’ll sit next to someone else soon enough.”

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