Joyeux Anniversaire Le Crocodile

Hello-Hello, happy new week to everyone, hopefully those with an extended weekend are enjoying every minute of it.

Today we look at a storied brand, one more than a few preps grew up wearing. This image offers a clue.

Photo by Henri Manuel via WWD.com

Photo by Henri Manuel via WWD.com

Many will recognize René Lacoste, inventor of the modern tennis wear now known as a ‘polo shirt’ and eponymous company.  It was 1927 when the tennis great created his first shirt for wear on the court, 1933 when the company was formed, called La Société Chemise Lacoste.  As Women’s Wear Daily notes, that was the year seeing “Industrial production of the first Lacoste shirts, in particular the white “petit piqué” cotton polo shirt, code-named the “L.12.12.” Below we see the tennis great in 1927.

Lacoste

Lacoste

One of the first things many think of when hearing the name “Lacoste” is that critter on the shirt’s upper left chest; Mr. Lacoste’s nickname was “Le Crocodile”. More from this WWD story:

The crocodile logo on his shirts is regarded in branding history as the first instance of a visible logo, although, ironically, it was criticized as vulgar at the time. And while the concept of product placement had not yet been invented, René Lacoste gave his crocodile shirts to friends to wear on the courts, building brand awareness.

Below, a 1993 print ad.

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

One of the more fascinating aspects of the logo story: check out the size of the animal on Mr. Lacoste’s jacket.

Biography.com

Biography.com

As the company celebrates its 80th anniversary it is doing very well. Its expansion has continued throughout the decades. Below, the brand’s Paris flagship store on the Champs-Elysées.

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

The company continued to innovate, Mr. Lacoste designed many inventions, including a steel racket, ball launcher and other items. Below, one of my favorite photos of the tennis champion and businessman.

tumblr_lrfd9rc4n11qh6z2wo1_400

Lacoste also pursued philanthropic efforts as well, for the company’s 60th anniversary they donated more than $1 million to a campaign trying to eradicate multiple sclerosis, more recently they have supported the BCRF (Breast Cancer Research Foundation) and efforts to save endangered alligators, crocodiles.

Over the years the brand has not lost its sense of whimsy, below we see its Valentine’s Day greeting appropriately rendered in red polo shirts.

Lacoste Facebook page

Lacoste Facebook page

Last week Lacoste showed it’s fall ready to wear collection. There is little that held appeal for your faithful scribe.

Giovanni Giannoni WWD.com

Giovanni Giannoni WWD.com

In honor of the 80th anniversary Lacoste is offering limited edition polo shirts, like this one with the number 8.

Lacoste.com

Lacoste.com

Lacoste still offers tennis togs, as well as swim, golf and other sporting apparel.

Lacoste

Lacoste

Although much of the marketing is aimed at a younger customer.

Lacoste

Lacoste

There are other initiatives in addition to apparel and accessories, like the Lacoste Lab.

Lacoste Lab

Lacoste Lab

The brand continues its tennis roots as well.

Lacoste Tennis

Lacoste Tennis

Its Lacoste Live collection is edgier, hipper.

Lacoste

Lacoste

Online the company even has a section on envisioning the polo of the future.

Lacoste

Lacoste

But there are still plenty of basics for those of us fond of the pieces that are the brand’s heritage.

Lacoste

Lacoste

Many of the polo More from the spring assortment.

Lacoste

Lacoste

It’s great to see the brand in a healthy position. I remain a fan, despite being a touch (cough-cough) beyond the demo Lacoste is pursuing. As long as they continue to offer quality merchandise at an acceptable price I’ll be happy to be a customer.

And to think I was worried it would be hard to find an image of a birthday cake appropriate for the post.

mmm

Lacoste Twitter Feed

Silly Princess.

Until next time,

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4 Comments

Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Preppy People

4 responses to “Joyeux Anniversaire Le Crocodile

  1. MCW

    Lacoste polo dresses are my summer staple!!!

  2. Such a classic. When I was growing up I had Lacoste polo shirts, in dark blue, pink, pale blue, white…etc. One for every day of the week!…lol… i love how the brand is as classic as ever (yes, I still wear Lacoste!) but has also moved with the times…

  3. I actually prefer the fit of Lacoste to RL. I have 2 thus far (finds at Goodwill actually), and hope to stumble upon more! 🙂

  4. Those Lacoste polo dresses take ma back to my childhood 🙂 I, as many others, have grown up with the brand and am happy with the direction in which it seems to be heading! Thanks for the post! I’ve always been a fan but knew nothing about its history!

    Jessie Holmes Springer

    jessieholmesspringer.com

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