Will Swillie has joined Haspel as executive vice president and managing director. The newly created position will be based in Baton Rouge, La., where the seersucker pioneer is headquartered.
Swillie has more than 27 years of industry experience in traditional retailers, e-commerce sites as well as wholesale. The Louisiana native most recently served as vice president and divisional merchandise manager of Stein Mart, where he was in charge of the men’s sportswear business. Prior to that, Swillie was the division president of Clad, a luxury web site dedicated to contemporary men’s wear that was a joint venture between J.C. Penney Co. and Esquire magazine. He had also been director of brand management for Rue La La, an Internet company where he launched the men’s business in 2010. He has also served as a men’s buyer for both Neiman Marcus in Dallas and Ralph Lauren in New York City.
At Haspel, Swillie will oversee sales, merchandising, licensing, marketing and brand building. He will oversee the company’s operations in both Baton Rouge and New York.
He reports to Laurie Aronson, president and chief executive officer of Haspel. “We are so pleased to welcome someone so experienced, connected and motivated to the Haspel team,” Aronson said. “Will is an inspiring leader and strategic executive who understands Haspel’s DNA and enormous potential.”
“Haspel is a homecoming of sorts and the ideal next step in my career,” said Swillie. “The brand is a storied one with a vital place in men’s wear and boasts untold upside. It is my distinct pleasure to join Laurie and the entire Haspel team as we usher this heritage brand into its future.”
The family-owned Haspel was founded in 1909 in New Orleans by Joseph Haspel Sr., who is credited with inventing and popularizing the seersucker suit. Laurie Aronson is the fourth generation of the family to operate the label. The brand is sold at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Mitchells, Ron Herman and other specialty stores.