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Latest Articles - Luxury

How To Wear A Wrist Watch Properly – The Lesson of Style

When purchasing watches, no one is questioned with how to wear watches, actually. This appears to be logical and rational. Nevertheless, the simplest things happen to be complicated sometimes. Everything is made from details and details sometimes mean far more than the whole. People who really wander how to wear watches properly exist and they are really concerned in this issue.


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Crystal Glass Tableware – A Song of Crystal

In the light of a variety and availability of glass items, glass ware is still appreciated by plenty people, especially when it comes to cut glass. The cut glass produces a long, lingering and musical tune when you put your finger at the cut-glass edge. So, in Japan the craftsmen make unique musical instruments. A crystal violin, completely transparent, is estimated for fifty thousand USD. Crystal glass tableware is not so much expensive though it is able to produce the charming, unique and so brittle music providing it is properly cared.

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Lacoste: The Triumph of Crocodile Style

Saturday, 14 August 2010

LacosteAmong the many grand fashion houses that can boast a rich and long history of success, only few have a truly recognizable character. Lacoste is one of those brands. It's impossible to confuse is crocodile logo with that of any other brand, and its name is closely associated not only with the fashion world, but also with big tennis. Though Lacoste is known primarily for its crocodile logo and polo shirts, it's much, much more, but without the instantly recognizable logo the history of the brand would not be so interesting, and if it hadn't been for tennis, there would be no Lacoste brand today.

The Alligator Legend is Born

The history of Lacoste reads like a history of tennis. It was founded by legendary tennis player Rene Lacoste, who with his teammates «The Musketeers» won the Davis Cup in 1927. Even the crocodile logo associated with the brand came from tennis. Rene Lacoste was nicknamed «The Crocodile» by the U.S. press. He won seven Grand Slam singles titles in the French, American, and British championships but never made the long trip to Australia to play in their championships.

According to the official Lacoste company history, in 1927, Rene Lacoste made a bet with the Captain of the French Davis Cup team concerning a suitcase made from alligator skin. The team captain promised the formidable player that he would buy the suitcase for Rene Lacoste if he won every important match for the team. He did win all those matches, and since then, the young player became «The Crocodile».

Revolutionizing Fashion and Sports

A true innovator, Rene Lacoste revolutionized the tennis men's sportswear. The traditional tennis court wear for men was a long sleeved starched shirt made of the classical woven fabric. Rene Lacoste designed a shirt with short sleeves, a ribbed collar and slightly shorter than what was the fashion during those days. The logo was drawn by Robert George, a friend of Rene Lacoste, who in turn embroidered it on the blazer that he wore on the courts.

Together with Andre Gillier, the owner of the France's largest knitwear company during that time, the tennis champ set up a company to manufacture the crocodile logo embroidered shirt he designed. Using a new fabric called «Jersey petit pique», the first Lacoste shirt was born in 1933. By this time, Lacoste had already designed a lot of tennis shirts for his personal use, and Lacoste and Gillier wanted to make a profit out of the concept. The La Societe Chemise Lacoste was born.

The first catalogue was then released, containing shirts for all sports, including golf, sailing, and tennis. The first collection was also released in that same year. This also marks the beginning of having the logo or brand outside, instead of inside. And on its own, this action contributed to the logo craze and merchandising of sports related products which would become big in the latter half of the 20th century. Since then, the shirt has brought a lot of changes in men's sportswear, replacing the woven fabric of classic sports shirts.

In 1951, the company began to expand as it branched from «tennis white» and introduced color shirts. In 1952, the shirts were exported to the United States and advertised as «the status symbol of the competent sportsman», influencing the clothing choices of the upper-class. It is still one of the most popular brands in the United States, sporting the «preppy wardrobe».

In 1963, Bernard Lacoste took over the management of the company from his father Rene. Significant company growth was seen under Bernard's management. When he became president, around 300,000 Lacoste products were sold annually. The Lacoste brand reached its height of popularity in the US during the late 1970s and became the signature 1980s «preppy wardrobe» item. The company also began to introduce other products into their line including shorts, perfume, optical and sunglasses, tennis shoes, deck shoes, walking shoes, watches, and various leather goods.

The original market of tennis enthusiasts would expand to the general public. When Rene Lacoste died in 1996 at the age of 92, «The Crocodile» lived on. And like most great brands, it continues to adapt to the changing marketplace.

Up the Fashion Staircase

After the entire world was conquered by the «crocodile» fashion in the 80's, in the new millennium, Lacoste is still topping the fashion charts as a result of combining sports and casual wear. Lacoste continues to produce sports equipment, clothing and accessories, perfumes, and other items designed for those who are not sports enthusiasts. The Lacoste Club division produces fashion collections, which offer casual wear for men and women.

Lacoste had a long standing dispute over the logo and clothing lines with Crocodile Garments. Crocodile Garments uses a crocodile logo that faces left while Lacoste uses one that faces right. The two fought for the logo rights in China, which was won by Crocodile Garments in 2003. Crocodile Garments in return agreed to change its logo to have a more vertical tail and more scales.

However, starting in 2000, with the hiring of a new fashion designer Christophe Lemaire, Lacoste began to take over control of its brand name and logo, reigning in their branding arrangements. Currently Lacoste has once again returned to the elite status it held before a brand management crisis circa 1990.

Lemaire debuted for Lacoste during the Spring/Summer 2002 season. In 2003, 70 years after it was founded, Lacoste is sold in over 109 countries with a turnover of 860 million euros. It currently owns 731 Lacoste shops and 1700 corners.

From the first Lacoste shirt, the crocodile would become one of the world's most recognized logo, appearing on men's, women's and children's clothing, footwear, perfume, leather goods, eyewear, watches, and underwear. Over the years, the brand has certainly improved a lot in terms of quality, stability, and comfort.

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