Lacoste is a high-end apparel company founded in 1933 that sells high-end clothing, footwear, perfume, leather goods, watches, eyewear, and most famously tennis shirts. In recent years, Lacoste has introduced a home line of sheeting and towels. The company can be recognized by its green crocodile logo.
Its major competitors include Armani, Fred Perry, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
René Lacoste founded La Chemise Lacoste in 1933 with André Gillier, the owner and President of the largest French knitwear manufacturing firm at the time. They began to produce the revolutionary tennis shirt Lacoste had designed and worn on the tennis courts with the crocodile logo embroidered on the chest. Although the company claims this as the first example of a brand name appearing on the outside of an article of clothing, the "Jantzen girl" logo appeared on the outside of Jantzen Knitting Mills' swimsuits as early as 1921. In addition to tennis shirts, Lacoste produced shirts for golf and sailing. 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".
Bernard Lacoste became seriously ill in early 2005, which led him to transfer the presidency of Lacoste to his younger brother and closest collaborator for many years, Michel Lacoste. Bernard died in Paris on March 21, 2006.
Lacoste licenses its trademark to various companies. Until recently Devanlay owned the exclusive worldwide clothing license, though today Lacoste Polo Shirts are also manufactured under licence in Thailand by ICC and also in China. Pentland Group has the exclusive worldwide license to produce Lacoste footwear, Procter & Gamble owns the exclusive worldwide license to produce fragrance, and Samsonite holds the worldwide license to produce Lacoste bags and small leather goods.
In June 2007, Lacoste introduced their very first e-commerce site for the U.S. market. Hayden Christensen is the face of the Challenge fragrance for men.
In the early '50s, Bernard Lacoste teamed up with David Crystal, who at the time owned Izod, to produce Izod Lacoste clothing. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was extremely popular with teenagers who called the shirts simply Izod. While the union was both profitable and popular, Izod Lacoste's parent company (David Crystal Co.) was saddled with debt from other business ventures. When attempts to separate Izod and Lacoste to create revenue did not alleviate the debt, Crystal sold his half of Lacoste back to the French and Izod was sold to Van Heusen.
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.
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.
Lacoste operates a large number of Lacoste boutiques worldwide; located as concessions in leading department stores and also as independent venue stores. In the United Kingdom, Lacoste is available from many leading high-end shops including KJ Beckett and John Lewis Partnership. Likewise in the United States, the Lacoste brand can be found in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Belk, Halls, and other independent retailers. In Canada, Lacoste is sold at Harry Rosen, its own boutiques, and other independent retailers. In Australia, it is sold at David Jones, and Myer.
As of June 2007, Lacoste's online presence allows Americans to purchase clothing and have items shipped directly to their doors. The online store offers sizes and options not found in brick and mortar stores, along with a large sale section.
Elegant Black vs Silver from Lacoste Watches
Trio Lacoste Watches
Amazing White Lacoste Watches
White Combination Pink looking Beautiful
Green Lacoste Watches