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.
Here are 25 quick facts about Lacoste that every fan should know!
Lacoste was founded in Troyes, France in 1933.
The founder was tennis player René Lacoste, and businessman André Gillier.
The full name of the business was La Chemise Lacoste, later shortened to Lacoste.
Some people believe that René Lacoste was given the nickname “the crocodile” because of his perseverance and determination on the tennis pitch.
However, 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.
In 1929, before the company was officially established, Lacoste created a tennis shirt for his own personal use. This later included the famous crocodile logo which the business is now recognized for.
Alongside polo shirts, customers at Lacoste have been able to find perfumes, shoes, sunglasses and watches since the early 2000’s.
René Lacoste and others claimed that the tennis shirt was the very first item of clothing to feature a logo on the outside. However, fashion experts have pointed out that eight years earlier, customers had seen the Jantzen Girl logo on swimwear.
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.
The shirts were sold initially in a catalogue which was created by the two founders.
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.
The varying colors were brought along in order to appeal to a more upper class market.
In 1963, René Lacoste put the business into the hands of his son Bernard.
During the 60’s, the company grew stronger under Bernard Lacoste’s management. They were selling approximately 300,000 items per year.
Its peak was in the 1970’s, when Americans were buying more and more Lacoste items for sports and leisure.
By 2005, Lacoste products were known in 110 different countries around the world.
In the early 21st century, a legal battle began between Lacoste and Crocodile Garments, a company which had a similar logo.
Lacoste’s logo was a green crocodile which 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.
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.
Bernard Lacoste died in 2006, passing the business on to his younger brother Michael Lacoste.
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.
The famous Lacoste polo shirt slowly crept into everyday wear, and soon it was seen in music videos and movies.
Hayden Christensen, famous for playing Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, became the face of the Challenge fragrance for men in 2009.
The René Lacoste Foundation was developed to help children get into sports during their school years.
Novak Djokovic was the latest famous figure to join the Lacoste advertising campaign in 2017.