THE STORY OF LACOSTE
In 1933 Rene Lacoste revolutionizes men’s fashion replacing the classical woven fabric, long-sleeved and starched shirts on the tennis courts with the Lacoste shirt, recognizable by the small-embroidered crocodile on the chest. Seventy-five years after its creation, Lacoste has become a lifestyle brand, which allies elegance and comfort. The Lacoste art of living expresses itself today through a large collection of clothing for women, men and children, footwear, perfumes, leather goods, glasses, watches, belts and home textiles. Lacoste found its success on the essential values of authenticity, performance and elegance. There are more than 1000 Lacoste boutiques and more than 2000 corners in department stores, specialized outlets and sports stores. Lacoste has a worldwide presence in 112 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, America and Oceania, etc.
The true story of the Crocodile dates back to 1927, when Rene Lacoste was nicknamed the Alligator by the American press after he made a bet with the Captain of the French Davis Cup Team, who promised to buy Rene a suitcase made from alligator skin if Rene won won a very important match for his team.
The Creation of the LACOSTE Polo Shirt
In 1927 Rene Lacoste designed for his own personal use a batch of cotton shirts in a comfortable aired mesh that perfectly absorbed perspiration to better support the heat on the American courts. This shirt immediately revolutionized men’s sportswear, later replacing the classical woven fabric, long sleeved and starched shirts that players wore on the courts until then. The first Lacoste shirt was white, slightly shorter than other shirts of the day, with a ribbed collar and short sleeves, and it was made of a light knitted fabric called Jersey PETIT Pique. In 1933, Rene Lacoste and Andre Gillier, the owner and chairman of France’s largest knitwear manufacturing firm at the time, set up a company to make the crocodile logo-embroidered shirt and thus gives birth to the Lacoste polo shirt. This was the first time that a brand name appeared on the outside of an article of clothing.
Lacoste is more a style than a brand. Permanently revisiting its great classics in a modern way, Lacoste creates timeless, high-quality designs, always in phase with its time, presented twice a year in a fashion show during the New York Fashion Week. By leaning on its authentic sporting roots, the Lacoste brand has become symbol of relaxed elegance. Christophe Lemaire led the Artistic Director of Lacoste since 2000. Then in 2010 Felipe Oliveira Baptista took the Lacoste designing reins from Christophe.
LACOSTE LIMITED EDITION
HOLIDAY COLLECTION- In 2006, Lacoste decided to launch the Holiday Collection series. Each year the brand chooses a different designer and asks them to reinterpret the classic polo shirt by defying their own production techniques.
Techno & Eco Polo by Tom Dixon in 2006
The Eco Polo shirt is made of organic cotton and natural indigo. Each polo shirt is unique. Tom Dixon plays with the traditional polo shirt while adding to it new seams and edges to the sleeves and hems. The polo shirt is sold in a box made of recycled materials.
Plastic Polo by Michael Young in 2007
For the polo shirt collector, Michael Young wanted to try out the alliance of textile and plastic, to create a futuristic polo shirt. He drew on the polo shirt a large crocodile scale motif which climbs along the body and goes down again in the back. An inflating ink is applied directly to the pique cotton then activated by heat in order to resemble true skin crocodile.
Today, the legacy of Rene Lacoste is an expansive collection of sports and active wear for men, women, and children, as well as fragrance, eyewear, footwear, watches, and technical products for tennis and golf, which all display the famous crocodile. The largest logo product yet is a racing yacht!
Lacoste is a universal brand and appeals to a very wide range of fans. To own a piece of Lacoste is to truly own a piece of a legend!
by Tapti Tapan
Designer for the brand SOUL BY TAPTI TAPAN