During a senior meeting on Feb. 16, students at Miami Palmetto Senior High were introduced to a new business that could allow them to take an innovative approach to prom. The Lapel Project, which won over the sharks on Shark Tank in 2016, turns blazers and suits into fashionable tuxedos. The product works by sticking adhesive lapels to suits or blazers to add a stylish contrast and, in turn, eliminate pricey tuxedo rentals or purchases.
“I had never seen anything like that,” senior Natalia Ortega said. “I thought that it was really cool that [students] could have an affordable way to look good at prom.”
Ortega says that she definitely encourages her friends to purchase the product.
“It looked like the quality was pretty nice,” Ortega said. “I think that [the lapels] will be pretty successful.”
Lapels come in a variety of colors and materials, giving customers the opportunity to choose from festive florals, soft velets or dazzling sequins. At Palmetto’s auditorium, founder and CEO of The Lapel Project, Sebastian Garcia, presented the numerous ways students can mix and match the lapels with bowties and loafers also sold by the company.
“One thing that was really cool was the loafers,” senior Jorge Ariana said. “They just look like a cool shoe. I would wear them with a tuxedo.”
As a member of Strictly Panther Business, which functions like a small business that promotes school products at Palmetto, Ariana knows all about the trials and hard work that go into manufacturing creative products that attract customers. Thus, he is impressed and inspired by The Lapel Project’s growth.
“[The lapels] are pretty neat,” Ariana said. “They are doing a good job since making a deal on Shark Tank, so I respect them for that.”
Some students, though, are at a crossroads in regards to purchasing the product, weighing the pros and cons.
“I would find it useful if you were on a budget and you didn’t really want to buy the suit or if you needed a tuxedo urgently,” senior Armando Jaen said. “I don’t think some of my friends are really that interested in this product because I think they want their prom to be more authentic and wear a real tux.”
Nevertheless, The Lapel Project announced that from the Palmetto student purchases, a portion of the profit will go back to Palmetto. The school’s activities office said that the donation would help decrease prom ticket costs; therefore, they encouraged students to shop from the The Lapel Project.
“I like that [The Lapel Project’s donation] decreases the price of prom,” senior Tiffany Mejia said. “It helps make [prom] more extravagant since the school will have extra money.”
However students decide to dress as they walk into prom less than two months from now, many will keep The Lapel Project in mind as a trendy alternative to renting or purchasing a tuxedo.