The History of Lacoste
Lacoste, originally La Société Chemise Lacoste was founded by French tennis star René Lacoste in 1933. René was nicknamed 'The Crocodile' due to his tenacity on the tennis courts, during his tennis career he won 7 Grand Slam Singles titles and he was also the World Number 1 player in 1926 and 1927. This nickname inspired the Croc logo that he wore on his tennis shirts and transposed as the Lacoste brand logo found on all of their products.
Lacoste first began producing the revolutionary tennis shirts that René wore on the tennis courts alongside golf and sailing shirts. In 1951 they branched out from the classic tennis white and introduced new colours to the Lacoste clothing range, by 1952 they were exporting to the US where they were advertised as 'The status symbol of the competent sportsman'.
In 1963 the tennis world was rocked when René patented the first tubular steel tennis racquet. With all previous tennis racquets being made from wood this new lightweight, sturdier version was the must have. In Europe the racquet was marketed under the Lacoste brand name, however in the US Wilson Sporting Goods took over the marketing of the racquet making it a huge success as the Wilson T-2000.
1963 also saw Bernard Lacoste taking over the Presidency of Lacoste from his father bringing with him a new zest for the growth of the Lacoste clothing brand, shortly after he had taken over Lacoste was selling around 300,000 products annually.
Lacostes big break came in the late 1970's & 1980's when it's popularity as THE 'preppy wardrobe' really took off in America, Lacoste also introduced new lines to the Lacoste brand including footwear (everything from tennis to deck shoes), perfume, glasses and watches.
In recent years Lacoste has seen another revival after working with French designer Christophe Lemaire to create a fresh modern look for both their sports and fashion lines. They have also teamed up with tennis stars Andy Roddick and John Isner and have increased their popularity in the golfing world with José Maria Olazábal wearing Lacoste shirts whilst playing in tournaments.
In 2005 Bernard Lacoste became very ill and the Presidency was handed over to his younger brother Michel, Michel continues the Lacoste families passion for their brand and nowadays Lacoste is sold in over 110 countries and sells over 50 million products a year.
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