Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Haspel's Laurie Haspel Aronson talks seersucker, tradition and innovation

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The Haspel factory as it once stood on the corner of Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HASPEL
  • Photo courtesy of Haspel
  • The Haspel factory as it once stood on the corner of Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue.

In 1909, Joseph Haspel Sr. opened Haspel, a textile factory specializing in lightweight men’s suits. Haspel — known colloquially as “the Factory” by neighbors and workers — was located at the intersection of Broad St. and St. Bernard Ave. until production moved to Tylertown, Mississippi, where it stayed until the brand was bought out by the Palm Beach Company in the late 1970s.

Joseph Haspel saw a niche in the market for manufacturing suits that could withstand the heat and the humidity of the New Orleans summertime — suits for working men of all color collars. He once famously went for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, fully clothed in one of his suits to demonstrate its ability to withstand moisture. Reportedly, he hung the suit up to dry, and threw it back on for an evening engagement. The suit retained its silhouette, and Haspel was on the fashion map.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THINX founder Miki Agrawal removed from NOEW women's summit lineup

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:42 PM


The Idea Village, one of the organizing groups behind New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), has released a statement regarding the cancellation of THINX founder Miki Agrawal's appearance at a women's summit at the conference.

Agrawal originally was scheduled to give a "fireside chat" at the summit, which highlights issues women face in the workplace. The high-profile founder of THINX, which makes underwear designed to disrupt the lucrative menstrual pad and tampon market, was known for her colorful interviews and quirky (some might say eccentric) behavior.

But this week, news broke of sexual harassment allegations against Agrawal from a former employee — a serious charge for anyone, but especially for a figurehead who espouses feminist ideals and women's empowerment. The allegations follow a flurry of criticism from current and former employees about poor working conditions for the company's women, including inadequate maternity leave, a toxic office culture and low pay.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Gambit TV: CUE turns 10

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson stops into WWL-TV to talk CUE magazine's big 10th anniversary issue, on newsstands now.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

New Orleans Fashion Week events March 18-24

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM

Confetti poppers marked the end of Lisa Iacono's 2014 Dreamcar Collection runway show. - PHOTO BY GEOVANNI VELASQUEZ (WWW.BLACKANDGEAUXLD.COM)
  • Photo by Geovanni Velasquez (
  • Confetti poppers marked the end of Lisa Iacono's 2014 Dreamcar Collection runway show.

New Orleans Fashion Week (NOFW) takes the city by the stilettos March 18-24, with a full slate of events for fashion lovers of all ages and genders. NOFW brings together budding and established designers from all over the country, with a focus on homegrown talent from the Gulf South, and provides a chic setting for networking, mentoring and — of course — shopping. The group's mission is "to foster and support economic growth by raising attention to the talents of southern designers, beauty professionals, photographers and models," and the dream is realized this month with a parade of fashion shows, demonstrations, pop-up boutiques and panels.

Red carpet events and runway shows are March 22-24 at the Civic Theater, with Luxe Marketplace pop-up stores at 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 as well, and shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $35 for upper-level general admission to $300 for a 3-day VIP pass, and are available here. The fashion fun doesn't stop there though — here's some info about attendant events.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Gambit TV: Glam updates to basic fashions

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 1:57 PM

Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson drops by WWL-TV to share behind-the-scenes insight from CUE magazine's latest fashion shoot (on newsstands now).

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Gras "Give a Pair, Get a Pair" shoe drive at Arnaud's benefits Eden House human trafficking survivors

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 11:56 AM


Traditionally, the Friday before Mardi Gras (or Friday Gras) is a day for families and friends to get together for a (very) long lunch. Locals make reservations at classic French Quarter dining spots months in advance. Restaurant tables become a sort of base camp — patrons can step outside to visit the lunacy of Bourbon and Canal streets as revelers get throttled up for the wildest weekend on the Crescent City calendar, and then duck back in to the relative safety of a decadent lunch and cocktails.

On Friday, Feb. 24, Katy Casbarian of Arnaud’s Restaurant hopes to pass on the invigoration of Friday Gras to others who need it. Casbarian has teamed up with fellow business owners Allison and Julie Hoffman of Native Polish and Evie Poitevent of Feet First to present their inaugural “Give a Pair, Get a Pair” event. Ladies attending Friday Gras lunch at Arnaud’s are asked to bring a pair of gently used women’s shoes, which will be collected for a donation to Eden House, a nonprofit that provides long-term housing and care for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Gambit TV: Bridal fashions

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 11:48 AM

Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson drops by WWL-TV to discuss this year's bridal styles: top-to-toe glitter, illusion-effect gowns and more.

(CUE's Bride Book is on newsstands now.)

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Gambit TV: Workleisure fashions in CUE magazine

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Brand-spankin'-new Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson stops in to WWL-TV to discuss "workleisure," or professional looks inspired by athletic wear. The trend also is broken down in this month's CUE, which is on newsstands now.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Slideshow: Voodoo costumes: glitter, clowns, skeletons

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Costume elements—face paint, feathered headdresses—are festival fixtures, but Voodoo Music + Arts Experience's proximity to Halloween encourages all-out, head-to-toe looks. This year was no exception. Trending: makeup inspired by Mexican calaveras, mermaids, clown suits and full-body paint. Surprisingly absent? Political costumes nodding to the upcoming presidential election. Nary a Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump was seen on the City Park Festival Grounds, and just one "nasty woman" and "bad hombre" roamed the area.

Below, check out a survey of Voodoo costuming (and maybe pick up some last-minute ideas for Halloween tonight.)

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Androids and anime: a day at MechaCon (slideshow)

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Costumed con-goers strike a pose.
  • Costumed con-goers strike a pose.

The scene at MechaCon check-in is bedlam. A man in a glittery green bowler hat, possibly left over from St. Patrick’s Day, jostles a woman with blue and purple hair, who consoles her crying sister. A girl in a metallic red and blue jacket, matching bikini bottoms and black high-heeled boots shivers nearby. Other people in varying degrees of costume stand around the registration desk in vague gestures toward lines; the confusion seems to stem from the fact that there are multiple registration levels. Red-shirted volunteers keep trying to line people up based on the first letter of their last names (“N through Z!”) 

Behind me, a young man in an electric blue wig, a red fedora with playing cards tucked into the band and goggles seems indifferent to the chaos. He’s carrying two boxes at about chest-level. 

“What’s in the box?” I ask. 

The first box has a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards, he says. 

“And the other one?”

“It’s a box of string.”

"And what is the string for?

“No one is supposed to know what the string does.”

Shyly, he opens the box’s lid to reveal a tangled nest of extension and power cords.

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