Incredible facts on why everyone love the brand, Lacoste – get to know why the brand is famous, unique, different, history behind the Crocodile logo and other interesting story about the luxury clothing brand.
Lacoste is one of the few clothing brands that has stayed relevant for years. The Lacoste brand started with a white shirt and now has other products ranging from different colors of shirts, jackets, shoes, leather goods, perfumes, towels, watches, socks, just to mention a few.
Even if you don’t own any Lacoste items, there’s a very high chance that you’ve seen the famous green crocodile which is featured on all their items. The company can be recognised by its green crocodile logo.
Here are 30 quick facts about Lacoste that every fan should know!
1. Lacoste was founded in Troyes, France in the year, 1933.
The top-notch clothing brand was birthed in Troyes in France in 1933 by two great men.
2. The founder was a world-leading tennis player René Lacoste, and businessman André Gillier.
René Lacoste was one of the greatest tennis players out there. Back in ’25 – ’29, René Lacoste won a series of Grand Slams and squashed his competition with 5 victories at the French Internationals, 3 wins at Wimbledon, and 2 victories at the U.S. Championship gaining him the heralded No. 1 spot in 1926 & ’27.
3. The Crocodile came from a bet
Back in ’23 René seen a crocodile skin briefcase in a shop window in Boston that he wanted, he created a bet with his Tennis coach that if he won a match later that evening he would receive it. Sadly he lost the match, but it didn’t stop an American Reporter from giving him the Nickname ‘The Alligator’. When he returned to France that name changed to what you see today, the Crocodile.
4. The Original Logo was created by Robert George
In 1927 Robert George brought the Crocodile to life with his detailed illustration which was later simplified for the Polo Shirts. In years to come, he had a capsule released in his name as a sign of respect and appreciation.
5. The full name of the business was La Chemise Lacoste, later shortened to Lacoste.
6. René Lacoste was nicknamed after his own brand’s logo
Some people believe that René Lacoste was given the nickname “the crocodile” because of his perseverance and determination on the tennis pitch.
7. Another twist to René Lacoste’s “the crocodile” nickname
Another historic anecdote states that he got this nickname after he made a wager. It involved him potentially receiving a crocodile-skin suitcase if he won a particular tennis match against the Americans.
8. The first Lacoste shirt was created in 1929
In 1929, before the company was officially established, Lacoste created a tennis shirt for his personal use. This later included the famous crocodile logo which the business is now recognized for.
Once the brand had been established, it wasn’t just tennis shirts that were being sold. Golf shirts, sailing shirts, and other casual sports clothing were introduced.
9. Other Lacoste products aside the T-Shirts
Alongside polo shirts, customers at Lacoste have been able to find perfumes, shoes, sunglasses, and watches since the early 2000s.
10. Lacoste Live! was created to attract younger audiences
With the introduction of Felipe Oliveira Baptista in 2010, the band switched its values up and introduced the “Live”! Collection in 2011, it was designed to appeal to the younger market, to this day the Live! the collection has been well received with collaborations with streetwear labels such as Supreme, and even well respected Japanese labels such as Beams & Junya Watanabe. Considering Lacoste always had the ‘preppy’ sort of aesthetic they have cemented themselves into the streetwear game.
11. Lacoste temporarily changed it’s logo in 2018
It’s not every day a huge label changes its logo completely, it’s like Nike getting rid of the swoosh. But they had a great reason behind the change, they did it to raise awareness and money to help conservation programs protect the world’s most endangered animals.
Ranging from the Burmese Roofed Turtle to the Northern Sportive Lemur, the animals on the shirts are all on the brink of species-wide extinction. So they replaced the iconic Crocodile badge and replaced them with 10 different animals, each design had a limited run of Polo’s produced that corresponded with the remaining population of each animal. The collaboration was dubbed ‘Savethespecies’ and shows the brand’s passion for respecting the environment and life, other brands should take note.
12. Peter Saville Destroyed The Crocodile
Well not literally obviously. Working with Calvin Klein, Kanye West & even his home city of Manchester, Saville was given the task to redesign the brand with one condition, “Don’t touch the crocodile’, being an avant-garde artist he decided not to follow this crucial instruction and ripped the crocodile to pieces, 80 to be precise. This led to a collection of 40 different designs being crafted for a creative and fresh way to see the crocodile in a deconstructed manner.
I know it’s a shock to think that a company made by one of the best Tennis players in the world makes Tennis Rackets, but I bet you didn’t know that Rene Lacoste invented the first-ever steel racket!? He was an innovator and a futurist who wanted to create and invent, and so he did.
14. The shirts were sold initially in a catalog that was created by the two founders.
15. Lacoste didn’t introduce alternative colours for nearly 30 years
For nearly 30 years Lacoste only produced the White Polo shirt, they introduced newer colors to appeal to an upper-class market. To be fair though, the White Polo Shirt with the Green Crocodile badge is still a timeless look over 80 years later, so you can’t blame them for focusing on it.
16. Different colors of Lacoste were introduced in 1952.
It took almost 30 years for Lacoste to manufacture shirts in colors other than white. By 1951, fans of the brand started to see various colors of the same shirt, and still with the same familiar crocodile logo.
17. The varying colors were brought along in order to appeal to a more upper-class market.
The Lacoste company in its process of expanding across countries introduced more eye-catching colors to widen its market.
Lovers of the brand now love to own diverse colors of Lacoste shirts.
18. The Logo Was One Of The First Garments To Feature Branding Out The Outside
That’s right, Lacoste was one of the first brands to feature a logo on its garments, 2nd only to Jantzen Swimwear who featured the diving woman on their cap and swimsuit. Lacoste paved the way for fashion with its bold logo design giving an instantly recognised brand appeal.
19. René Lacoste’s son, Bernard was handed over the business in 1963.
In 1963, René Lacoste put the business into the hands of his son Bernard.
20. Steady growth of the Lacoste company under Bernard.
During the 60’s, the company grew stronger under Bernard Lacoste’s management. They were selling approximately 300,000 items per year.
21. Lacoste brand became famous in America in 1970
Its peak was in the 1970’s when Americans were buying more and more Lacoste items for sports and leisure.
22. Lacoste became popular worldwide in 2005.
By 2005, Lacoste products were known in 110 different countries around the world. The famous Lacoste polo shirt slowly crept into everyday wear, and soon it was seen in music videos and movies.
23. In the early 21st century, a legal battle began between Lacoste and Crocodile Garments, a company that had a similar logo.
They had legal issues with an Asian Company about the Crocodile Design. The Singaporean brand ‘Crocodile Company’ had battled with Lacoste for countless years about who owned the rights to the crocodile logo. After a huge battle in court Crocodile company agreed to modify their logo with larger eyes and a vertical tail amongst a few other tweaks.
24. Difference between the Lacoste logo and the Crocodile Garments’ logo
Lacoste’s logo was a green crocodile that faced the right, while Crocodile Garments’ logo was browner in color and faced left. In the end, Crocodile Garments altered their logo slightly so that the crocodile’s tail was pointed more upwards and had larger eyes.
25. Famous tennis players who had contracts with Lacoste
Over the years, Lacoste has had contracts with several high-profile tennis players, which has managed to gain the company more recognition. Famous faces include Andrew Roddick, Rich Gasquet, and Stanislas Wawrinka.
26. René Lacoste’s son, Bernad handed over the company to his younger brother, Michael prior to his death.
Bernard Lacoste died in 2006, passing the business on to his younger brother Michael Lacoste.
27. The Lacoste website was founded in 2007.
In 2007, along with its new management, the Lacoste website was developed, which meant that more people could access the products. They no longer needed to visit a physical store to get their favorite shirts, perfumes, and footwear.