Lacoste is a French clothing company founded in Troyes, France in 1933 by French tennis player René Lacoste. Lacoste was first marketed as a tennis brand, introducing the short sleeved polo shirts to the sport. Soon after, polo shirts were also designed for golf and sailing.
A huge part of the Lacoste brand, is the famous crocodile logo. However, what many people don’t know, is how the crocodile became such an iconic part of the high-end brand. So why is the Lacoste logo a crocodile? The short answer for you is that it was René ‘s nickname, but if you’d like to know how he earned it then here is the longer answer:
It was during one of René’s tennis games in the early 1930s, before the brand Lacoste has emerged. He had spotted a crocodile skin suitcase in the store window of a nearby shop, and set his heart on the item. So he made a bet with the captain of the French Davis Cup team, where if he should he win the game, they would buy it for him.
Unfortunately, René lost the match, so didn’t get his crocodile skin suitcase, but he did get a nickname. Both the press and the public continued to refer to René with the nickname “crocodile” and in a matter of weeks it had stuck. René had a crocodile embroidered onto his court blazer; and then when he founded Lacoste clothing, it was obvious what he wanted the logo to be.
From there, the famous Lacoste brand was born, with the crocodile logo always by its side. Lacoste quickly evolved from being just a sports brand, to produce many of the designer fashion items we see today. However, the polo shirt has always been the star of Lacoste.
In 1951, Lacoste expanded from the tennis white polo shirt, producing a colourful range of polos. The shirts became a popular item not only in sport, but as streetwear as well; the iconic crocodile recognisable everywhere.
The first Lacoste shoe was created in 1958; a simple, white tennis shoe. In the same year, Lacoste broadened its reach, launching a kid’s collection of polo shirts and t-shirts. Shortly after this, René Lacoste patented his polo collar. It being the only one of its kind at the time, with the ability to be turned up to protect the neck from the sun during play.
Lacoste could only improve from here, and sports jackets, tennis rackets, cardigans and more were welcomed into mass production.
Lacoste celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2013, with the brand reaching millions worldwide. Lacoste now sells a wide range of both fashion and sports clothing and accessories. Two sub-brands of Lacoste have also been introduced; Lacoste Live and Lacoste Sport.
The original crocodile logo remains ever-present on each Lacoste product, being as much a part of the brand as the name itself. Nowadays you can’t think of Lacoste without thinking of the crocodile.
Mainline Menswear stocks a huge selection of Lacoste clothing, with specific brand sections for both Lacoste Live and Lacoste Sport. Visit our website to browse our extensive collection and welcome the crocodile into your own wardrobe.