This past June, the iconic French label Lacoste turned 80 years old, an occasion celebrated during the French Open. Could there have been a more perfect venue for the brand’s anniversary? Most would argue that there was not.
Rene Lacoste was a renowned tennis star for most of the 1920s and 30s. In 1929, he introduced the Lacoste polo shirt to France. At the time, the tennis uniform of choice was a white button down shirt with a tie, but he preferred his own style: a short sleeve knit shirt with a protruding collar. He later included more of his tennis persona into the design. The crocodile emblem was added in reference to his nickname “the Crocodile”, earned for his tenacity on the court.
In celebration of the brand’s 80th Anniversary, nine of France’s luxury fashion houses put together an exceptional collection of gifts that embody the spirit of Lacoste. The exclusive selection was on view from June 10- June 15 at Colette in Paris.
Hermes created an oversize bag, in crocodile skin of course, with a special compartment to carry a tennis racket. Goyard’s roomy travel bag proudly displayed Lacoste’s iconic emblem mixed with Goyard’s very own chevron monogram. S. T Dupont designed a sleek case containing a lighter, two candles, two pens and pique-covered notebook. Baccarat honored the brand with a crystal vase in Lacoste’s signature green.
Boucheron brought two emerald and diamond crocodile brooches to the party. Claire Choisne, Boucheron’s creative director, let out a special secret about the crocodiles: In 1957, Rene Lacoste had commissioned one for his wife, Simone, a golf champion. She and Lacoste had a daughter, Catherine, who was also a reigning golfer, so tennis was not the only sport considered for these special presents. Christofle designed a silver putter exclusively for the event, while porcelain company Bernardaud created a collection of golf tees in 27 colors, taken directly from Lacoste’s popular palette.
No celebration is complete without some champagne and dessert, and Fauchon and Veuve Clicquot were there to meet such demanding needs. Gourmet Food Company Fauchon baked high-fashion éclairs covered with chocolate shells that recreated the texture of pique polo shirts. Veuve Clicquot brought the bubbly, presented in a special case shaped like a golf trolley.
While these items are not for sale, Lacoste took it into their hands to create a fun commemorative item available to the public. Earlier this year, the brand introduced, via their Facebook page, a monthly Limited Edition Custom Polo Kit. Each month in 2013, Lacoste will introduce a different kit to customize a shirt to fit individual preferences. The first kit was released January 30th.
If Lacoste’s 80th celebration is any indication of what’s in store for the brand, the future looks flawless and bright. After such a fabulous birthday, who could possibly argue? ■