Long before being a crocodile embroidered on clothes, Lacoste was first and foremost an international tennis champion, an intelligent inventor and the creator of a whole new style.
Where did the crocodile come from?
In Boston, in 1923, the young tennis prodigy René Lacoste was 19 years old and hungry for a challenge. His coach knew it. He promised him a beautiful crocodile leather case, which René Lacoste admired in a shop window if he won the upcoming match. René Lacoste did not win the match, but he had the tenacity of a crocodile on the court. That's why he was nicknamed so by an American journalist.
It was in 1927 that the famous crocodile took shape under the stylist Robert George. René Lacoste immediately had it embroidered on his blazers. A few years later, the polo shirt was born. His crocodile makes Lacoste the first brand to put a visible logo on a garment.
Did you know that… The installation of the crocodile alone requires 1200 stitches of embroidery.
The Lacoste style
Before Lacoste, tennis was synonymous with long-sleeved shirts, pleated pants and belted waists. René Lacoste put comfort first. He understood the need for clothing adapted to the sport. Defying convention, he shortened the sleeves of a typical tennis shirt to create the first comfortable polo. For the first time, designs were embroidered with a crocodile, making them instantly recognizable.
Before long, René Lacoste was dressing his friends and family in polo shirts at international matches. Well ahead of his time, he designed the modern wardrobe: lightweight, adaptable and highly desirable. Lacoste's classics were firmly established.
A smart and inspired inventor!
As early as the 1920s, he began to innovate. He was the first to use rolls of adhesive tape, used in the medical field, to wrap the racket's handle to prevent injury.
In 1963, he designed the first steel racquet with synthetic strings. From 1966 to 1978, Jimmy Connors and Billie Jean King won 46 Grand Slam titles with this racket.
René Lacoste developed his brand with his son, which also includes perfumes. Fashion clothes, sports shoes, glasses and bags inspired by tennis were eventually added to the collection.
Today, Lacoste is a huge company, synonymous with quality, elegance and class, and well-known worldwide.