— DIANE CLEHANE
While the regulars in the dining room at Michael’s chatted about their plans for the upcoming holiday weekend, it seemed only fitting that my lunch today was with Laurie Haspel Aronson, president of Haspel, the quintessential American company responsible for the creation of the classic seersucker suit. Laurie tells me it was the brainchild of her great grandfather, Joseph Haspel, who wanted to turn the fabric once favored by laborers for its cool comfort into a natty summertime staple of bankers and businessman everywhere.
Haspel, which was founded back in 1909, has dressed some pretty iconic fellows including Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Jimmy Smits, who wore Haspel during his stint on The West Wing, will be sporting seersucker this weekend when he hosts PBS’ July 4th special and on his upcoming series Outlaw that premieres this fall.
Laurie explains how the venerable label remains a current fashion favorite (Russell Brand is a fan) but hasn’t alienated its old school clientele this way: “The great thing about it is it can be worn by everyone and looks good on everybody. It takes on the personality of the wearer.” Indeed.
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Former Chanel president Arie Kopelman and his wife Coco with Pamela Fiori (in Chanel) and a distinguished looking gent we didn’t recognize.
2. A very blonde Peggy Siegal and a handsome young fellow.
3. Scribe Phoebe Eaton, looking very glam
4. Abernathy & MacGregor’s Jim Abernathy
5. Estee Lauder’s Alexandra Trower with college chum Kate Betts. A little birdie told me Kate has a new book coming out soon: Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and The Power of Style.
6. Laurie Haspel Aronson, Lisa Linden, Hannah Arnold and yours truly
8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia and Barbara Liverman
9. Our fearless founder, mediabistro.com’s Laurel Touby with Christa Babcock of Sirius XM Radio. Christa tells me she was the winning bidder on lunch at Michael’s with Laurel (on a Wednesday, of course!) at a recent Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) auction. We hear the bidding got pretty heated, so I’m guessing Christa got her money’s worth!
11. People‘s Liz McNeil and author Pamela Keogh, sporting her summer whites.
12. Producer Steve Haft.
14. Vogue‘s publisher Susan Plagemann and Gilt Groupe’s dashing Christian Leone.
15. Joe Versace
16. Felicia Taylor (loved the hat!) with fashionista Harriet Weintraub.
17. Amanda Haynes-Dale
18. The Early Show: Lew Korman; second seating: Tony Burton, former Access Hollywood frontman Pat O’Brien and a mystery blonde.
20. The uber chic Susan Mercandetti with an equally stylish gal pal.
21. Quest‘s Chris Meigher
22. Missy Godfrey (Loved the black and white ensemble!)
23. CBS’s David Poltrack
24. Ed Blier
28. Craig Schiffer
29. John Silberman
Faces in the crowd: Mathew Vlasic, President of The Thread Shop, with Sunny Jenkins, Managing Director of HL Group
We’ll be on holiday next week. Hope your Fourth is full of fireworks! See you in two weeks.
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.