Lacoste Clothing

The Lacoste Clothing line was created by Renee Lacoste (1904-1996), a champion tennis player. Renee took the tennis world by storm in 1927, snatching the Davis Cup away from America and earning his nickname, "The Crocodile." In 1934 he founded "La Socit Chemise Lacoste", a company to manufacture sports shirts decorated with the crocodile motif. Lacoste was at a loss to explain the popularity of the crocodilian emblem–which was almost universally referred to as an alligator. The Polo brand termed "izods" in English and "polos Lacoste" in French was introduced in 1960. Polo's were short-sleeved polo shirts worn to play tennis. Until the mid-eighties the shirts were sold in bright colors such as green, pink and white. During the eighties, more subtle shades were introduced to make up the line of 20 distinct colors.

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Lacoste Clothing The shirts were characterized by the 3 buttons, one above the other, just before the collar. Today’s Polo has 2 buttons instead of 3. The Lacoste logo was a crocodile on the left breast turning its head towards the "outside" of the chest. Cheap imitations were made in Taiwan that mistakenly turned the crocodile’s head in the wrong direction, toward the center of the chest. There were also jokes: a factory released some Polo shirts where the crocodile was on top of a second crocodile. The trademark was a pun written beneath the crocodiles: "J'accoste" instead of "Lacoste", which in French means, "I'm accosting".

 

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Lacoste Clothes alligator / crocodile emblem

Until the eighties, Lacoste polo’s were considered very classy and worn by preppies. Mass appeal during the eighties, as the perfect compliment to designer jeans, meant that everybody just had to have them. The preppies that used to buy them now prefer to go for Ralph Lauren, even in countries like France. However there are still many Lacoste shops, including one in Beverly Hills, California.

 


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