Lacoste is one of the iconic brands that has not only created its niche but also strengthen t-shirts as a category. Images Business of Fashion decodes the philosophy of the brand.
Created in 1933 by celebrated tennis champion René Lacoste, the brand is a symbol of elegance. The iconic crocodile logo of Lacoste embodies the style and spirit of this tennis champion. It offers clothing for women, men and children including shoes, perfume, leather goods, eyewear, belts, watches, home textiles and costume jewelry. The brand has achieved a wholesale turnover of 1.8 billion Euros in 2012 in retail sales. Present in 114 countries, two Lacoste products are sold every second through Lacoste boutiques, corners in department stores and a selective distribution network.
Rene Lacoste entered the legend of tennis when he and his team-mates, popularly known as The Musketeers, stole the Davis Cup away from the Americans for the ?rst time, in 1927 and 1928. The true story of the alligator dates back to 1927 when Lacoste was nicknamed Alligator. Born in France on July 2, 1904 and died on October 12, 1996, Lacoste told the story behind his name ? was nicknamed the Alligator by the American press, after I made a bet with the captain of the French Davis Cup Team concerning a suitcase made from alligator skin. He promised to buy it for me if I won a very important match for our team. The public must have been fond of this nickname which conveyed the tenacity I displayed on the tennis courts, never letting go of my prey!
In 1933, Rene Lacote and Andre Gillier, the owner and chairman of France’s largest knitwear manufacturing ?rm at the time, set up a company to make the logo- embroidered shirt designed by the champion for his own use on the tennis court. Also marketed were a number of other tennis, golf and sailing shirts, as can be seen in the ?rst catalogue from 1933. Probably, this was the ?rst time that a brand name appeared on the outside of an article of clothing – an idea which has since become extremely successful. This shirt immediately revolutionised mens sportswear, replacing the classical woven fabric, long-sleeved and starched shirts which players had worn on the courts until then.
The ?rst Lacoste shirt was white, slightly shorter than other shirts with a ribbed collar and short sleeves. It was made of a light knitted fabric called Jersey petit piqué. The qualities of comfort and solidity upon which it built its name still shine through today, providing a different and truly unique product. Rajesh Jain, MD and CEO, Lacoste India shares the philosophy of the brand and what makes it exclusive.
What values do Lacoste products stand for?
Continuing its brand heritage and its innovative DNA, Lacoste has been providing its customers with unmatched quality, attention to detail, neat ?ts and a varied collection season after season. Lacoste is relaxed elegance and evergreen fashion brand. Men’s wear is fashionable, chic and semi-formal; women’s wear is sporty and athletic; while the kids-wear adds the desirable element of casual and relaxed look.
What will a buyer always ?nd in Lacoste t-shirts?
Whether playing on ?elds or in everyday life, Lacoste’s story is rooted to a quest for authenticity, performance and elegance. Each item of clothing is designed in order to allow men and women to feel emancipated in their minds and bodies, with clothes that enable con?dence and ease of being adapted to an ever-changing life. Lacoste re-visits it’s codes and iconic products; however it keeps the DNA of the brand intact. The t-shirts re?ect a wardrobe exuding con?dence and comfort revolving around the brand’s icon – the polo shirt. For t-shirts too, the ?t is relaxed yet always clearly de?ned with soft, light fabrics which add shape without constraining the body.
The brand offers subtle elegance through their high visual impact graphics, distinctive colour ways, innovative functionality and iconic depictive design. The brand gives hints of natural, easy con?dence and elegant collection making the Lacoste customer ready for casual and formal functions.
Who is an ideal Lacoste customer?
Lacoste, being a bridge-to-luxury lifestyle brand caters to those individuals who possess an active lifestyle and desire comfortable, qualitative and timeless products in different moments of their lives. Fashion Conscious but not Fashion Forward, Lacoste’s target segment appreciates cultural values and the assurance of good taste the brand provides through its products. Lacoste products assist these individuals in expressing better to the outer world. Their lifestyle that encompasses elegance, renement, comfort and quality. The pro?le in terms of psychographics has now got enhanced with addition of new age younger customers. More and more Indian consumers have been identifying themselves with Lacoste and its offerings. The brand has successfully attracted the new age younger consumers through trendier products.