Lacoste

Today, we know Lacoste for perfumes – and sportswear, with that recognisable-at-20 paces crocodile emblem. In fact, if you travel back in time, Lacoste’s heritage is rooted in sport – the story of a French tennis legend…

screen-shot-2014-11-24-at-15-26-25Born in 1904, the dashing and elegant René Lacoste won his very first tennis tournament aged 17 – and by 20, had won the French Open for the first time. Not only tennis fans but the press were awed by his perfectionist approach, predicting a player of enormous class. ‘Focused when he plays, smiling when he leaves the court,’ commented the international press. Inspired by his doubles partner, the legendary Suzanne Lenglen, Lacoste learned to focus his energy and strength to produce more ‘spontaneous’ moves and strokes, earning even greater acclaim.

And in 1923, he earned that nickname: ‘The Alligator’. Why? A journalist overheard a bet over an alligator suitcase – and the name stuck…

Lacoste married another champion: Simone Thion de la Chaume, who won the British Girls’ Amateur Golf Championship. The Lacostes must have needed a huge mantelpiece: trophy after trophy, victory after victory, came Lacoste’s way – 10 Grand Slam titles at the French Open, Forest Hills and Wimbledon, among them.

lacoste_eau_de_lacoste_small-250x473In 1926, this always-stylish sportsman asked his friend Robert George to design a crocodile emblem for a white blazer – the first sighting of that now-famous logo. That year, Lacoste became World No. 1 tennis player, after winning the singles and doubles at the French Open and Wimbledon, and scooping the US Open singles title. He also pioneered the wearing of a short-sleeved shirt, inspired by polo players, which made for much greater freedom of movement – the forerunner of the tennis-wear we see on court today. In 1933, Lacoste launched his first campaign for the polo shirt – now emblazoned with the crocodile emblem. And the rest is sportswear history…

Today, Lacoste sponsors leading athletes across the worlds of tennis and golf – and the brand’s in-house designer, Portuguese-born Felipe Oliveira Baptista, has sky-rocketed the popularity Lacoste by constantly reinventing and reinterpreting the essential elements of this iconic house for a new generation. (The Lacoste Facebook page has approaching 20 million followers, and counting…)

But of course, the playful, sensual spirit of this enduring legend is also perfectly captured in fragrances – for both men and women. Eau de Lacoste, for instance, evokes the feeling of white cotton on skin. It’s fresh and elegant, perfect for the modern and confident Lacoste woman. Built on a classical structure, the fragrance opens with citrus top notes of juicy white pineapple, woven with a pure white floral heart, and with sensual sandalwood and vanilla at its base. To quote Lacoste: ‘This scent completes the look for the feminine party-goer, who is elegant and chic – but her smile reveals a playful twist…’

Its perfect counterpoint is Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle, which ‘accentuates an elegant but casual appearance, with a soft twist that is reminiscent of a joyful evening.’ Beginning with the refreshment of an evening breeze, the fragrance opens with sparkling, vibrant pink pepper and contrasting tart blackcurrant. lacoste-casual-men-fragrance-l1212-video

Later, the atomosphere of Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle shifts: the clean elegance of Turkish rose combines with the delicate essence of sweet pea and the innovative floracy of Gladiolus inflexus. After sunset, feel the intensity of evening: the soft sensuality of nougatine blends with the rich comfort of amber, providing the perfect fragrance ‘to set the stage for the night ahead…’

In their distinctive, squared, eye-catching bottles, the L.12.12 fragrances have now joined the game – for both men and women. The name? Taken from the bestselling L.12.12 polo shirt, also simply known as known as ‘The Alligator‘. (The symbol actually appears on Lacoste‘s fragrance bottles.)

So happily today, we no longer need to be ‘sportif‘ to wear – or enjoy – Lacoste. And in terms of sheer wearability, it’s definitely game, set and match to this legendary French name…

lacoste.com

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