Behind the Brand: Lacoste & Lacoste L!ve

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Lacoste sell 2 of the iconic crocodile logos every second, which works out at a staggering 53 million since the brands creation in the early 1930’s. Rene Lacoste was nicknamed the alligator on the court, because he was tenacious, often out lasting competitors and using his skills to win, time after time.

Rene Lacoste was born in Paris in 1904 and by the age of 20, had won the iconic French open. Fed up of wearing stiff, starched tennis shirts, Rene started dreaming of a soft, short sleeved shirt that would give the wearer flexibility and comfort during play. Less than ten years later, Rene and Andre Gillier officially founded Lacoste, with the first advertising campaign and the launch of the, now iconic, L.12.12 short sleeve polo shirt in a bright, tennis white. By the 1950’s, the Lacoste polo shirts had become a sports staple, renowned for the innovative pique cotton fabric that was light weight and breathable. Across the next two decades, the full colour range for the L.12.12 was released, which along with the first Lacoste fragrance, cemented Lacoste as a lifestyle brand and not just a name for the sports wardrobe.

Lacoste became the icon of American style after the innovative polo shirt was mentioned in ‘The Official Preppy Handbook’ published in 1980. This reputation came from the combination of quality craftsmanship, French origins and the European fit, which made the shirt extremely sort after, especially in American golf clubs. Along with exclusive distribution chains throughout the US, the polo shirt quickly became an elite wardrobe staple and part of the preppy style.

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Lacoste stay true to their roots and are still heavily involved with sports in many different ways. Tennis players, such as Andy Roddick, John Isner and the Olympic gold medallist, Stanislas Wawrinka, have been dressed in Lacoste on the court, while Lacoste has become common attire on the golf green, with sportsmen such as Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazbabal wearing the crocodile during tournaments. Along with clothing current sportsmen, the Lacoste foundation, set up in 2006, aims to support the next generation of sports stars. The foundation subsidises and supports projects that help children gain access to a variety of sports, with the hope that this will teach them about respect, team spirit and motivation. Lacoste were the proud partners of the French teams for both the Olympics and the Para-Olympic games in 2014, who came home with 27 medals in total.

With the launch of Lacoste L!VE in 2011 and a subtle rebranding, the preppy Lacoste reputation has shifted to that of a modern, fun brand with a rich heritage. Lacoste L!VE is aimed at the youthful market, who want to wear vibrant patterns and rich colours that are not available from the classic Lacoste range. As a brand known for the iconic polo shirts, Lacoste L!VE are moving away from the traditional by using bold design and slim fits to inspire the next generation of the loyal Lacoste fans, while retaining the classic French elegance that made the crocodile infamous.

Lacoste is sold in over 100 countries around the world and you can still visit the original Lacoste boutique in Paris, where the Lacoste brand was born over 80 years ago. This attention to the Lacoste heritage is what keeps the brand relevant with innovation, functionality and a modern edge inspiring all the current collections. As a mixture of traditional sportswear, fashion forward essentials and creative new styles, Lacoste is moving forward, while retaining the initial sophistication that was envisioned by Rene at the very start. A wardrobe is not complete without a touch of Lacoste.

This Spring / Summer’s campaign is brilliant and focusses on the comparison between that nerve-racking first kiss and the extremities of jumping of a building – This symbolises the brand’s strapline ‘Life is a beautiful sport’ as we see a young man overcome his fears to kiss the object of his affections. Pieced alongside a perfect piece of music Disclosure – “You & Me” ft eliza Doolittle and remixed by Flume.

“He is about to risk it all to win the game of his life.
It will take him confidence and courage to make the leap, beautifully.”

Shop this seasons collection of Lacoste and Lacoste L!ve below:

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