T O P L I N E - arunabha Bose ( Courtesy - BTW Magazine)
Lacoste, which began its journey on tennis courts, is a premium sports wear today
A tennis player, René Lacoste, founded La Chemise Lacoste in 1933 with André Gillier, the owner and President of the largest French knitwear manufacturing firm of the time. The duo began to produce the revolutionary tennis shirt Lacoste had designed and worn on tennis courts
with the alligator logo embroidered on the chest, serving as the first example of a brand name appearing on the outside of an article of clothing.
In addition to tennis shirts, Lacoste produced shirts for golf and sailing.
The company began to expand as it branched from ‘tennis white’ to introduce colour shirts. The shirts were exported to the United States and advertised as‘the status symbol of the competent sportsman’, influencing the clothing choices of the upper-class.
Its visibility has increased due to contracts between Lacoste and several young tennis players, including American tennis star Andy Roddick and the rising French star Richard Gasquet. Lacoste has also increased its presence in the golf world, with noted two-time Master champion, José María Olazábal
and Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie sporting their shirts in tournaments.
Presently, the French apparel company sells high-end clothing, footwear, perfume, leather goods, watches, eyewear, and most famously, tennis shirts. Recognised by its green crocodile logo, Lacoste is headquartered in Paris. It currently has its production capital in Troyes, France, though production of international clothing has been delegated to numerous factories in over 12 countries around the world, including Peru, Morocco, Romania and Italy.
René Lacoste teams up with David Crystal, to produce Izod Lacoste clothing
Bernard Lacoste takes over the management of the company from his father
The Lacoste brand reaches its height of
popularity in the US
The signature becomes a ‘preppy’ wardrobe item, even getting mentioned in Lisa Birnbach’s Official Preppy Handbook of 1980
Izod-Lacoste partnership ends; Lacoste regains exclusive U.S. rights to distribute shirts under its own brand
With the hiring of a new fashion designer, Christopher Lemaire, Lacoste begins to take control of its brand name and logo
Crocodile Garments win logo rights in China; agree for a more vertical tail and scales for logo
50 million products sold in 110 countries
Lacoste licenses its trademark to some companies
In June, Lacoste introduces its very first
e-commerce site for the US market