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The history of Lacoste, a brand heritage

​The firm Lacoste owns a rich historical heritage, from which stem its brand image and iconography.


The history of Lacoste, a brand heritage
René Lacoste’s fame originates from tennis courts in the 30s. He has in his record seven wins in major single tournaments. While being a member of the French team winning the Davis Cup in 1927 and 1928 alongside with Henri Cochet, Jean Borotra and Jacques Brugnon, they will be given the nickname « The Four Musketeers ». René Lacoste will also be called « The Crocodile » or « The Alligator » (in the United States) as the result of a bet laid in 1923. The French team captain takes a bet with René Lacoste on a game. If René wins, he will be awarded a crocodile-skin suitcase. The context of this bet is taken over by an American journalist that nicknames Lacoste « The Alligator », an animal that matches well the player’s character and style.

In the 30s, players would practice their sport in a shirt and pressed trousers. René Lacoste asked in 1927 a clothes designer to create for him a short-sleeved shirt inspired by polo players to which he would add a collar. And in 1927, the stylist Robert George draws a crocodile and shows it to his friend. The champion would like to bear the animal that symbolizes his international fame on his newly designed top and thus embroiders it on his white blazer. In 1933, after his retiring, René Lacoste went in partnership with André Giller and created the brand Lacoste (formerly « La Chemise Lacoste »). From this teaming the famous polo shirt L.12.12 is born, L for Lacoste, 1 for the name of the stitch, the « petit piqué », 2 for the short sleeves and 12 for the number of prototypes that were necessary to create this iconic design. This polo shirt is the first cloth to display a logo on the chest. No one had dared to do so before, and despite René Lacoste’s friends dissuasions, he persisted.

After 90 years of existence, the brand owns a rich history and a wide corporate heritage. The Lacoste brand brings up for everyone the iconic polo shirt, but René Lacoste’s creativity does not stop there. Always close to tennis courts and looking for results, he invented and patented the metallic tennis racket in 1963. The anti-vibrations systems of the string and handle are his creations. Being a true jack of all trades, René Lacoste defined himself as an inventor « Inventor! If I had to write a profession on my business card, that’s what I would carve. I have invented all my life ». From the courts, to the writing of books specialized on tennis technique and strategy, not to mention sportswear, Lacoste excels in multiple disciplines. It is thus to answer the stake of collections indexing, conservation as well as management that Lacoste solicited and now trusts SKINsoft. The collaborative and scalable aspect of SKINsoft’s solutions lead to the installation of a powerful and modern tool matching the needs and demands of the brand.

Lacoste benefits from the broadness of SKINsoft’s products adapted to the needs related to the management of such a varied collection. The S-Collection module allows documentary funds as well as corporate heritage management. Lacoste also opted for the SKIN-Web module, that offers numerous possibilities such as third-party bases harvesting or merging, media and data with related copyrights management or even collections publication. In addition to this solution, SKINsoft developed a web portal allowing to share the collections within the company’s employees. This gives the possibility to internally consult collections online but also to create and search for batches. Those are tools answering at best the stake of sharing and enhancing collections online.