Custom gown designer to deliver Grisham-Trentham Lecture at Auburn University

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Custom gown designer Suzanne Perron will deliver the keynote address for the 2016 Grisham-Trentham Lecture Series at 10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 26 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

The Department of Consumer and Design Sciences in Auburn's College of Human Sciences sponsors the lecture each year, which is free and open to the public.

After spending 15 years working alongside famed New York designers Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Anna Sui and Ralph Rucci, Perron returned to her native Louisiana in 2005 to open her own design business specializing in custom gowns for brides, debutantes and Mardi Gras.

Hurricane Katrina delayed her original plans, but Perron stayed the course, even joining a group of entrepreneurs committed to revitalizing New Orleans post-Katrina. She employees fashion design graduates and has mentored countless interns from schools around the country, including Auburn's apparel design program. She has dressed brides from coast to coast including Spanx founder Sarah Blakely and countless celebrities including Jennifer Lopez and Anne Hathaway.

Perron is an alumna of Louisiana State University and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she was recognized with the Bill Bliss Award for outstanding fashion design graduate of its accelerated program. LSU named her its Young Alumnus of the Year in 2007. New Orleans Magazine named Perron its Top Female Achiever in 2010.

In 2012, the LSU Press published Perron's coffee table book, "Designing in Ivory and White," which showcases the techniques and artistry of her bridal and debutante creations. She is married to William St. Paul and they are the parents of 5-year-old identical twins, Andrew and David.

The Grisham-Trentham Lecture Series was started at Auburn University in 1987 by Professor Gary Trentham as a way of bringing world-class designers and business leaders to campus to share their experiences with Auburn students. It is supported by an endowment created by the late Charles Grisham, an Auburn alumnus, and Betty Grisham, an artist and textile designer, from Huntsville, Alabama.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.