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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It all started when Joseph Haspel, Sr. recognized the “power of the pucker.”

His goal was to create clothes that could withstand the heat in New Orleans, and after founding the brand back in 1909, Haspel’s seersucker became a hit in the fashion world.

“It was never pretentious, but it was always sophisticated and he was really proud of that fact,” said Laurie Haspel Aronson, Haspel’s president and CEO.

Laurie is Joseph Haspel’s great-granddaughter.

She said the seersucker was initially a laborer’s outfit that transformed into a hot-weather-ready suit.

One time, Aronson said, Joseph Sr. actually dove into the ocean to prove his seersucker would be cocktail ready that evening. Apparently, it worked.

Former presidents Harry Truman and George W. Bush even rocked Haspel’s seersucker.

And while the Haspel collection focuses on men’s fashion, creating a line for women is something Laurie is looking forward to.

She recently collaborated with a New Orleans-based company, and she says it’s just the beginning.