Lacoste Story

90 years of style

René Lacoste

The champion turned inventor

René Lacoste, the original crocodile

Once upon a time, there was an extraordinary man who revolutionised his era. A tennis legend and genius inventor, René Lacoste is a myth. This is the story of the man who turned his nickname into one of the most popular brands in the world...

A story about a suitcase

1923. "If I win, you give me that suitcase", says tennis champion René Lacoste to his team captain as he sets his sights on a crocodile skin suitcase. The bet was lost but the adventure was started. The American press, fascinated by the young man's tenacity, published the anecdote. René was now known as "the crocodile"... and became a legend in the making.

The man of many talents

A crocodile signed Robert George

1927. The stylist Robert George has fun drawing a crocodile and shows his sketches to his friend, René Lacoste. The tennis champion cannot resist the opportunity to wear the animal, the symbol of his international recognition, and has it embroidered on his white blazer. He wears it before each match. And it doesn't go unnoticed.

Putting a logo on a garment. A Lacoste invention.

1933. The industrialist André Gillier helps René Lacoste develop the knit of the special tennis shirt he has designed. It is white and bears his emblem embroidered on the chest. No one has ever dared and his friends try to dissuade him, but René Lacoste perseveres... Instantly recognisable, welcome to the first ever logo on a garment. The crocodile.

90 years, 10 crocodiles

Versatile. Avant-garde. The Lacoste crocodile is a work of art. From the one designed by Robert George to today's logo, the attitude remains. This is the strength of a logo that has made history. Subtle, the crocodile passes through the hands of designers, evolving one step at a time. The result? A rallying cry that transcends cultures. And crosses time.

The versatile reptile

The most famous crocodile in the world changes skin...

The invention that changed everything

One polo. One logo.

Inventions that revolutionised the 20th century, a logo that spread around the world... René Lacoste was a genius mind. The first polo shirt? He designed it. Discover the story of an icon.

Sleeves shortened. Movements liberated.

1928. René Lacoste competes in the final of the French championship with a non-regulatory shirt... The outrage! The French champion plays wearing short sleeves! Faster than ever, René Lacoste is at his best. The knitwear supplely accompanying the beauty of his gesture. The other athletes are intrigued.

Invented by René Lacoste

Before the crocodile invaded the tennis courts, the long-sleeved cotton shirt was the norm. The Lacoste polo shirt was a single invention and three patents. In terms of fit, the short sleeves optimised mobility. The innovative material, "le petit piqué", allowed players to sweat less. And as a style forerunner, it was embroidered with the first logo on the chest...

The L.12.12 polo shirt

The "René Lacoste and André Gillier" company was founded in 1933. Their ambition? To design sportswear that stands out. The two men started off strong. Invented by Lacoste, the polo shirt was a revolution. Its name? The L.12.12. L for "Lacoste". 1 for "petit piqué", 2 for "short sleeves" and 12 because it was the twelfth prototype...

Find yours

Lacoste Colours

An unstoppable gentleman, René Lacoste created a brand in his own image. Always optimistic, always on the move. This was the obsession of the "man in white" who, after his triumph on the courts, brought colour to the world of tennis. The first coloured polo shirts appeared in 1951. Since then, the Lacoste colour palette has never stopped growing. Primary or pop, the colours never stop.

Elegance made in France

It is in Troyes that Lacoste weaves the thread of his fertile imagination. The man who would change everything? André Gillier. The champion along with the owner of one of the most important hosiery companies in France agreed to launch the shirt imagined by René. They developed the "petit piqué". 90 years later, the factory still hums to the rhythm of the crocodile...

The commitments

Polo here. Polo there. Polo everywhere.

From New York to Seoul to Cape Town, the Lacoste polo shirt is everywhere. Colours. Cultures. Personalities. The iconic shirt is a staple... for everyone.

New campaign

The iconics

5 legendary pieces

The story behind the must-haves

Lacoste Polo shirts, bum bags, tennis jumpers, caps and tracksuits cross all generations. All cultures. All evolutions.

The tennis jumper

A sportsman's favourite since 1920, the tennis jumper can now be worn without a racket in hand. The V-neck has been modernised and asserts its century-old signature. Reinvented, the rib knitting remains. The retro spirit too. To bring out the style in the colours of the crocodile.

All our jumpers

crocodile caps

An icon of the mid 80's, the Girolle cap with its 5 emblematic panels is making a fashion comeback. More of a flat peak or baseball cap?

All our caps

100% tracksuits

Originally, they were used to keep athletes warm before and after exertion. Nowadays, tracksuits are Fashion Sport pieces. Technical details. Chic design. Optimised comfort. Only one question remains... Should they be worn separately or as a set?

All our tracksuits

Bum bags forever

A Lacoste icon since the 1980s, the bum bag is the bag chosen by millions of crocodiles who love its pop lines and practicality. Multicultural, it is a pioneer that is often imitated. But never matched.

All our bum bags

Polos for all

The Lacoste epic begins here. Invented by René in 1933, the polo shirt still unites millions of crocodiles. Whether it's Petit Piqué or Sport, it has stood the test of time. It accompanies all stories, all movements.

All our polos

Lacoste Life

Fields of expression. Fields of distinction.

The fragrance. The glasses. The watches. The household linen. The leather goods. The underwear. Lacoste is a crocodile that leaves its mark on a lifetime. Dive into a world where tennis codes, trends and technology unfold, wherever you are.

Signature scents

Bottling the very essence of the Lacoste polo shirt? This was done in 1968. An alchemist of sporty-chic dynamism, the brand ventured into high-end perfumery and competed with the most famous brands. The 80's were a twist. Men, women, kids... each Lacoste addict has his own crocodile fragrance. Up to today.

Find your fragrance

In full sight

"Unique and different". When he launched his first line of sunglasses, Bernard Lacoste's criteria were clear. Ultra famous for its know-how, the Lamy company created the famous "Lacoste 101" in the early 1980s. Its international success was unprecedented. From then on, the crocodile look was a must-have.

Lacoste time

No borders. No limits. True to René's spirit of conquest, Bernard Lacoste never stopped conquering new markets. Lacoste watches were born. Sporty, elegant, ultra-resistant... they combine the art of watchmaking with the Lacoste DNA.

crocodile leather goods

Accompanying all movements is a Lacoste obsession. From the spirit of the crocodile come bags designed to store, last and inspire. From the iconic bum bag to the special smartphone pouch, Lacoste has been producing bestselling leather goods for five decades. Timeless tote bags, water-repellent backpacks, leather wallets... everything is possible. <br><br>

Chantaco interior

The Chantaco golf course is a sporting and family estate and a Lacoste paradise. French elegance with Art Deco details, tributes to golf and tennis everywhere you look... a particular art de vivre is cultivated here that still inspires the brand. Bed sheets, towels, bathrobes, cushions... Live the experience.

Underwear know-how

When René Lacoste joined forces with André Gillier to launch the polo shirt, it was not by chance. The industrialist was an expert in special " hosiery " knitwear, what is now called " underwear ". So in flexibility, comfort and movement. Lacoste Underwear is the result of long-standing work on mobility. An underwear tradition signed Lacoste, quality expert.

The graphic design

The pattern revolution

Crocodile Codes

When Robert George took over the artistic direction of Lacoste in 1933, his boundless imagination revealed itself... Everything inspired him. The tennis courts. The codes of sport. The era. Welcome to Lacoste's signature graphics.

The Piqué

Originally created for the polo shirt, the petit piqué is a resistant and light relief knit. From 1933 to today, there is only one step. The Lacoste material par excellence transcends the limits of clothing. From white, it has become coloured. From knit, it became printed... forever more and more graphic.

Know-how

The court

The baseline outlines the crocodile style. White lines from the tennis court sign the Lacoste look with a graphic stripe. The piping, printed or in a white braid version, underlines the structure of the garment.

The stripes

From the brushes of Robert George to the latest Lacoste collections, stripes are omnipresent. The star motif of the 1930s sports lifestyle, it was the first novelty to appear on Lacoste polo shirts. Today, it comes in all colours, all thicknesses... and all directions.

The net

Inspired by the codes of tennis, the Lacoste chequer is a design derived from the net and the mesh of the racket. Printed. Embroidered. Knitted. The net chequer is a Lacoste speciality that transcends time.

The Color Block

Born from sports shirts, the colour block brands the Lacoste essentials with pop colours. The historic navy blue, green and red contrast with geometrical assemblages that stand out. Wise layouts. Daring clashes. And the crocodile bursts into life.

The Lacoste polo

The Punch

At just 15 years old, René Lacoste had a brilliant idea. He covered the handle of his tennis racket with surgical tape to make it more controllable. A few years later, the tape was replaced by a perforated leather strip. This was the "punch"... which can be found on many clothes and accessories.

The crocodile

A nickname. A lucky charm. The first non-label logo to appear on a garment. A logo that travels the world. A rallying cry. Like René Lacoste, the crocodile is a tenacious animal... Embossed, multicoloured, out of frame, framed or matt, it remains the same. And lives on through time.

When the crocodile treats you

Play Collective!

Surround yourself with the best: a Lacoste philosophy. From the first steps of the crocodile to the present day, the label has never ceased to collaborate with those who imagine the future... and design the present. The result? The crocodile hybridises. And lives on through time.

Lacoste X Campana

2009. Collector polo shirts made with the Campana brothers, the famous Brazilian designers. An allusion to the laces of northern Brazil and the crocodile gatherings during the dry season.

The Collaborations

Lacoste X Lesage

2015. 8 unique polo shirts. 8 ambassadors. Lacoste teamed up with France's leading embroidery house, Lesage. The result? Trendy and precious pieces that re-interpret the first women's polo shirt. Haute couture version.

Lacoste X Jean-Paul Goude

2016. Lacoste gave carte blanche to the famous photographer Jean-Paul Goude for a "Holiday" capsule collection. The idea? To reinterpret the famous crocodile through his creative eye. Mixed polo shirts, bomber jackets, leather goods... the Lacoste logo becomes either pilot or trendy balancing act across collector's items.

Lacoste X Suprême

2018. New York's biggest skate and streetwear label revisits the Lacoste pieces that marked the 80s and 90s. Jumpers, hoodies, accessories... The collaboration is an essential for all collectors.

Lacoste X A.P.C

2022. One has travelled the globe. The other is purely Parisian. Hand in hand, Lacoste and A.P.C. mix their codes to create a fashionable wardrobe. Designed for the city. Designed for style.

Lacoste X IUCN Save Our Species

2019. After a first collaboration-event in 2018, Lacoste launched 10 new polo shirts in favour of 10 new endangered species. The crocodile logo gave way to the Hawaiian monk seal, the Iberian lynx or the addax. The profits? All were donated to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Lacoste X Minecraft

2022. Materials with a reduced environmental footprint and recycled fabrics. A unisex wardrobe. The explorer, the intrepid, the influencer... there are as many profiles as there are players. With a style that can be built like a Minecraft world.

Lacoste X Keith Haring

2019. Polos, shirts, dresses, sneakers, watches... Keith Haring's mythical characters mingle with the crocodile. And even the kids are dressed in this instantly recognisable 80's street art.

Lacoste X Peter Saville

2013. Who better than the British art director to turn the white L.12.12 polo shirt into a collector's must-have? Peter Saville blurs the lines of the crocodile... and turns it into 80 different embroideries. For the 80th anniversary of the brand.

Lacoste transcends cultures

Crocodile Planet

René Lacoste was one of the first French sportsmen to conquer America. 90 years later, his crocodile is everywhere. From Japan to Egypt, a powerful statement. And iconic advertisements.

France

First advertisement for Lacoste shirts, 1933, and Lacoste advertisement of 1986

USA

Lacoste advert, 1997

Japan

Lacoste advert, 1990s

Latin America

Lacoste adverts, 1968 and 1988

Egypt

Lacoste advert, 1967

Germany

Lacoste advert, 1986

The Sneaker

Since 1958

Crocodiles now wear shoes

For 60 years, Lacoste shoes have marked their eras. Born on the tennis courts, the mythical crocodile silhouettes have become, over time, true street icons.

The René. The original shoe.

1958 was the year of a technical feat. Lightness, comfort, grip... Lacoste developed the first shoe for playing tennis in. Rubber reinforcement in the forefoot. Herringbone cotton canvas. Ventilation eyelets. The "René" was a star that was quickly snapped up by the champions. The start of a new chapter in the history of the crocodile.

Cutting edge innovation

EVA cushioning, protective reinforcements, anti-slip grips, ventilation system... Lacoste tennis shoes have always featured advanced technical properties that push the limits of performance and that have helped evolve the sport.

A prophetic sketch

First freehand sketch of the "René" by René Lacoste. 1957. Patent: n°75 2651 entitled "Anti-slip plastic layer".

The golden age of crocodile silhouettes

The 80s and 90s marked the advent of the Lacoste shoe. Streamlined silhouettes, innovative materials, singular details, Lacoste tennis shoes were elevated to the rank of icons and would forever leave their mark on sneakers signed by the crocodile.

Iconic collaborations

Hybrid, high-performance and fashionable, Lacoste shoes are a hit with the world's most discerning sneakerheads. The proof? Special sneaker collaborations with collectors... With Sneaker Freaker magazine. With the Japanese label Mastermind. Or with the most exclusive stores like Footpatrol in London, Concepts in Boston or Atmos in Tokyo and Osaka.

Sneakershop

Tennis

Lacoste on court

French Open and strokes of genius

International tennis player and brilliant inventor, René Lacoste has left the world of tennis the most beautiful legacy. A legendary team. A historic stadium. The greatest ambassadors. Visionary patents. Catch onto a story that is quite simply... extraordinary.

The Musketeers Generation

The French tennis team dominated the matches of the 1920s and 1930s. Six Davis Cup victories, 40 Grand Slam tournaments won in singles and doubles... the "Musketeers" were everywhere. Nicknamed after Alexandre Dumas' novel - you'd think they were wielding a sword with every forehand and backhand - and their conquering spirit, René Lacoste "the crocodile", Jean Borotra "the Leaping Basque", Jacques Brugnon alias "Toto" and Henri Cochet "the Magician" got the crowds on their feet.

The French Open

The "Musketeers" swept the press and the public off their feet. In the winter of 1927-1928, the Roland-Garros Stadium was built on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne to host the Davis Cup final, brought to France by Lacoste and his cohorts. This was the least they deserved. Welcome to epic matches... and to the crocodile's most loyal partner.

Stroke of genius

Lacoste was barely 15 when he was already tinkering with his racket. His goal? To improve existing techniques to beat his opponents. 1927. The future champion registered a revolutionary machine: the ball thrower. And he was obsessed with an idea: replacing the wood of rackets with steel to improve the strike. In 1963, it was done. A new patent, the LR07 steel racket, changed the history of world tennis.

Legendary on court. Unforgettable in Lacoste.

The first brand to sponsor athletes, Lacoste is a constellation of champions... who to this day embody the crocodile. In 1991, The Equijet racket invented by René Lacoste took Guy Forget to the number 4 spot in the world rankings and helped him win the Davis Cup. Just like Fabrice Santoro, "the man with the two-handed forehand", wearing Lacoste from head to toe. In 1996, Guy Forget won the trophy again... and made way for his heirs. 2001. The ultra-tenacious Arnaud Clément, in the world's top 10, and the 4th in the rankings, Sébastien Grosjean, also won the Davis Cup. Also wearing Lacoste, world number 11 Nathalie Dechy reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Venus Williams wear the crocodile to this day.

Everything sports related

Golf

Lacoste on the green

A story of women

Lacoste is also an undeniable brand on the golf course. If René has the backhand in his blood, he also vibrates for the passion of Simone and Catherine, his champion wife... and daughter. Let's head for Chantaco, the family stronghold that has seen so many stories born...

Simone and Catherine, the champions

British Girls Trophy. Femina Cup. French Open. With a swing as remarkable as her future husband's backhand, golf champion Simone Thion de la Chaume had already won everything. From her union with René Lacoste, Catherine was born. Like mother, like daughter... Catherine Lacoste became one of the greatest golf champions of the 1960s and 1970s.

Chantaco, the golfing paradise

Kiki Larretche, Juani Delgado, Sandrine Mendiburu, Jean-Claude and Armand Harismendy, Michel Tapia, Raymond Telleria... the great names of golf have all originated from Chantaco. When Simone Lacoste inherited the estate from her father, she had an ambition. This Basque land would be the land of golf. A democratic golf course, open to all. To train champions.

Legendary on the green. Unforgettable in Lacoste.

Stars of the greens, the greatest golfers are Lacoste ambassadors. Jose Maria Olazábal, winner of the Masters in 1994 and 1999, Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2003 and Solheim Cup player, Jean Van de Velde, 1st French player to play in the Ryder Cup and 2nd in the British Open in 1999 and Thomas Levet, 1st French player to win the Ryder Cup, 2nd in the British Open in 2002 and winner of the French Open in 2011, all signed with the crocodile brand. Adri Arnaus, Antoine Rozner and Céline Boutier also wear the crocodile.

Everything sports related

A new Driver

In his Chantaco workshop, René Lacoste innovated. Inventing new processes. Perfecting existing techniques. And wanted to do for golf what he had done for tennis with the steel racket. In 1982, he did had achieved this. René Lacoste registered a polyurethane golf club... much more efficient than the wooden models.

Lacoste and the French Golfing Federation

A long-standing partner of the French Golf Federation, Lacoste is the official supplier to the FFGOLF and the French national teams.

The champion turned inventor