Abbas Haider founded Aspetto while in college at the University of Mary Washington. The launch mission was somewhat simple - to create better-looking bullet-resistant apparel for the U.S. government agencies.
“I got my first taste of state contracting when I tried to sell custom suits to a local police department, as a college student. I called them for months trying to make suits for the officers but was turned away every time. One day, the police department asked me to make Class A uniforms. So, I outfitted the honor guard my junior year of college. When I entered my senior year, I received an assignment from my international marketing class to take a product from America and market it overseas. So many people already imported suits from around the world and I really wanted to take something to the Middle East. Given the region’s geopolitical unrest, I thought about combining armor with clothing. After realizing that no one in America had armored clothing, I sought to do it myself.”
Since then, a decade later, Aspetto is identified as "America's First Bullet-Resistant Clothing Line," and has become a multi-million-dollar international brand, expanded beyond fashion to tactical and defense products for law enforcement, military members, federal agents, and government contractors, including contracts to make female-specific military outfits for the U.S. Air Force, armored vests for Homeland Security, ballistic shields for the Internal Revenue Service, and stab vests for the Bureau of Prisons.
“We want to cover the entire lifecycle of a soldier. One example of this is a contract we have with the New Jersey National Guard. When a soldier enlists, they immediately become acclimated with Aspetto, wearing our helmet, body armor and gear. After they exit the military, if they work in the Pentagon, they will use our technology services and possibly wear our business suits.”
Regarding the current situation in the Ukraine: In 2018 Aspetto provided the country protective equipment (armor, plate carriers, ballistic googles, shields, medical kits etc.). Currently, the company is communicating with the Department of State to provide real-time inventory.
"It is devastating to see what is going on in the Ukraine right now,” said Haider. “I am working around-the-clock with my team to provide as much defensive gear to those on the frontlines, and to provide medical kits and MRE’s to all in need.”