We love it when a plan comes together. Just in time for graduation, clambakes and spring/summer weddings, two icons of American style, Haspel and G.H. Bass & Co, have launched a capsule footwear collection. And the brand heritage goes deep. If you wear seersucker, then you know Haspel. Founded in 1909 this New Orleans family owned business popularized the breathable, puckered fabric beloved by Southern gents and preppies alike. And the G.H. Bass & Co. style story is woven into the fabric of our country as well. Founded in Maine in 1876, Bass styles have been worn by college students, American Presidents, and Hollywood legends as well as stars of the Jazz Age and Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, who famously moonwalked in Bass Weejuns.
The G.H. Bass & Co X Haspel collection consists of a lace-up buck, a driving moccasin, a white low-profile sneaker, a classic boat shoe and the iconic Bass Weejun penny loafer. “Think of this North meets South collection as Maine with a kick of New Orleans.” We caught up with Laurie Haspel, the fourth-generation owner and President of Haspel for more on seersucker and the footwear collection debut.
Why do you think seersucker has the staying power that it does?
Seersucker is classic, iconic, and always makes a statement. The significance of seersucker is that the fabric is always changing – for the good. While seersucker is known for its famous stripes, it's often disguised in other patterns and colors which have the same cool properties, but can be disguised in different ways (from plaids to solids, cotton to wool, and even tonal colors). Many seersucker fabrics now have stretch too.
Tell us about the new G.H. Bass & Co X Haspel shoe collaboration? Do you have a favorite shoe?
We are extremely lucky to partner with another American brand with similar threads of history running through its DNA. My favorite shoe is the Marrero-Davenport sneaker! Very hip and a great shoe for all ages.
Summer is coming. Do you have any styling tips for men hoping to stand out in their seersucker suits?
Seersucker always…dressing with attitude always….standing out, of course! Just be unique, but be yourself. Wear seersucker in a way that fits YOUR style so you will be comfortable and confident. Be the center of attention only if you want to!
Is the seersucker fabric your great Grandfather manufactured and the Haspel seersucker of today?
We are using seersucker in both our tailored garments as well as our sportswear collection. The grades and qualities of seersucker vary so much these days. We can assure you that we use the finest of fabrics that will outlast the user!
What are the major differences between how the Southern Gentlemen and the New England Prepsters rock their seersucker?
The southern gentleman has traditionally worn his seersucker in a very classic way – worn with a white button-down shirt, a colorful necktie or bowtie, and of course, a white buck! But now, that's reserved for special occasions. Today's gentleman will wear his seersucker as separates and a bit more casual. The New England prepsters adore the plaids and bright colors, often leaning towards the sport coat, no tie, casual slacks, and loafers. They definitely begin a trend of color that still is part of our Haspel DNA.
Favorite movie or celebrity seersucker moment?
I always go back to THE most iconic look…the scene from To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck wearing his 3-piece Haspel seersucker suit in the courtroom. The best!