By a whisker: American Mustache Institute to move to Pittsburgh



Bar none, Pittsburgh is becoming quite the stylish metropolis when it comes to -- mustaches, of all things.

Wearing a lab coat and pants depicting different styles of mustaches -- the pencil, the professor, the handlebar and the walrus -- self-proclaimed doctor of mustachology Aaron Perlut, 42, announced Friday that the American Mustache Institute is moving its headquarters from St. Louis to the 'Burgh.

The Mustached American of the Year for 2012, Adam Causgrove, 29, of Mount Washington, will take over as CEO of the institute.

"I would like to thank Dr. Perlut for his years of service and decades to the mustache lifestyle," Mr. Causgrove quipped. "It is with moderate humility and extreme attractiveness that I take this position."

The new headquarters will be located in the West End. "[The West End] is one of the most mustache-friendly areas not only in the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County area but in the country," Mr. Causgrove said.

City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, whose district includes the West End, said she thinks "it will bring recognition and notoriety to Pittsburgh like it did to St. Louis."

"It will help serve as a component to champion great causes," she added.

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Peduto was supposed to be at the announcement but because of flight cancellations from New York he was unable to attend. He has been in Finland and Sweden.

"Hopefully, he returns with a mustache," Ms. Kail-Smith said.

The American Mustache Institute says it has more than 30,000 members. Founded in 1965, it touts itself as the "world's leading facial-hair advocacy organization."

"We embraced humor as the medium to deliver our messages," Mr. Perlut said. "Adam is a great leader and has the ability to grasp the humor of the organization that is needed to further us."

Andrew Miskowlec, secretary of the Steel City Beard and Mustache Club, said American Mustache Institute's move to Pittsburgh will affect the region both financially and socially.

"It will add to the diverse nature of Pittsburgh," he said. "This is one great thing for our city, and it will contribute to Pittsburgh becoming a first-rate facial hair city with the development.

"It makes a lot of sense. Pittsburgh is a natural fit," he added.

Mr. Perlut agreed.

"Pittsburgh has a culturally appreciative heritage of the sexually dynamic American mustache lifestyle," Mr. Perlut said.

"If we look back at some of the great Steelers and Pirates teams of the 1970s, they were littered with mustache-Americans, so I think this city has always embraced our lifestyle," he added.

The institute's annual 'Stache Bash, a charity event where the next Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year will be named, will be held Oct. 26 at the Buckhead Saloon in Station Square.

This year's bash will benefit Step to Independence, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit focused on children with motor disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

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Claire Aronson: caronson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1964 and on Twitter: @Claire_Aronson. First Published July 12, 2013 4:15 AM


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