Rise of a champion and the birth of an icon

The 20s

1921

The Debut

Born in 1904, René Lacoste wins his first tournament at aged 17 and the French Open for the first time in 1924. The press note his perfectionist approach and predict a player of great class.

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"Focused when he plays, smiling when he leaves the court."

The international press on René Lacoste

1922

Suzanne Lenglen

Inspired by tennis champion Suzanne Lenglen, he focuses his energy and strength to produce more spontaneous movements.

1923

The alligator

Critical press acclaim for Rene Lacoste's strength and performance quickly follow. Hearing of a bet over an allig ator skin suitcase, a journalist nicknames him the "Alligator".

1924

Simone thion de la chaume

Simone Thion de la Chaume, future wife of René Lacoste, wins the British Girls Amateur Golf Championship.

1925 to 1929

the champions's victories

TEN TITLES

Victory follows victory. René Lacoste wins 10 Grand Slam titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and Forest Hills.

1926

The first crocodile

Inspired by his nickname, Lacoste asks his friend Robert George to design a crocodile. The now famous logo makes its first appearance embroidered on the blazer of René Lacoste.

Roland Garros

A new stadium is built in Paris for the French team "the Musketeers" to defend their title in the Davis Cup.

NUMBER ONE

He wins the singles and doubles at the French Open and Wimbledon, and the US Open singles, becoming the world #1.

Davis cup

Captained by Lacoste, the four players who embody the spirit of French tennis defeat the American team to win the Davis Cup.

1929

The last match

In his last match, René Lacoste wins Roland Garros, beating fellow Musketeer Jean Borotra in the final.

1928

Tennis technique

1928

The tennis ball machine

René Lacoste invents the tennis ball machine to improve his technique. The machine will train generations of players.

1928

Writings

René Lacoste publishes Tennis, revealing a number of his techniques. It is translated into multiple languages.

Inventor! If I had to print a title on my business card, this would be it. I have been inventing all my life.

1927 to 1928

Family

1927

Simone
thion de la chaume

René meets his future wife, Simone Thion de la Chaume, 13-time French golf champion. They marry and have four children.

1928

Chantaco golf course

The Lacoste family home is reborn as a golf course, much visited by the Prince of Wales, Clark Gable and Charlie Chaplin.

The creation and launch of the L.12.12 Lacoste polo shirt

The 30s

1926

RENÉ LACOSTE IN SHORT SLEEVES

Inspired by polo players in London, René Lacoste adopts the short-sleeved shirt which allows greater freedom of movement, giving birth to the concept of functional elegance.

Conception with ANDRE GILLER

René Lacoste meets André Gillier and together they conceive the Lacoste polo shirt, a revolutionary piece of design.

When I look back, I realize
that everything I have
achieved was based on
active cooperation and
friendly agreements

1931

The captain

René Lacoste coaches the French team to Davis Cup victory. His team includes fellow Musketeers Cochet and Borotra.

1933

The first campaign

lacoste launches its first advertising campaign for the polo shirt.

1933

Industrial production

René Lacoste and André Giller launch the Lacoste L.12.12 polo shirt. Made of a new breathable fabric and featuring the crocodile logo, the shirt is flexible and lightweight.

The lacoste universe expands

The 40s - 50s

1940

RENÉ LACOSTE,
PRESIDENT FFT

René Lacoste is appointed in 1941 as President of the Fédération Française de Tennis and serves until 1943.

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1951

Colour

Lacoste launches a colour range for the petit piqué polo, infusing the brand with a cheerfulness to match its elegance.

1958

On the cover

Mervyn Rose is wearing Lacoste on the cover of Tennis de France further aligning the brand with the sport.

1958

The Lacoste shoe

Lacoste creates a light yet resilient tennis shoe combining performance and comfort with elegance.

1958

Kids

Lacoste launches its first collection for children.

New victories, new innovations

The 60s

1961

The polo collar

René Lacoste patents his polo collar. The unique, thicker collar can be upturned to protect the neck from sun during play.

Inventor! If I had to print a title on my business card, this would be it. I have been inventing all my life.

1963

The steel tennis racket

René Lacoste revolutionizes the tennis world with the invention of the steel tennis racket. The invention provides superior aerodynamics and paves the way for the modern tennis racket.

1964

Anti-vibration dampener

René Lacoste develops and patents the first anti-vibration dampener for the tennis racket. This innovative device absorbs vibrations from the impact of the ball, reducing the risk of injury.

1964 to 1969

CATHERINE LACOSTE

1964

Catherine Lacoste, daughter of René Lacoste and Simone de la Chaume, becomes the World Amateur Golf Team Champion.

1967

Setting Records

Catherine Lacoste becomes the first foreigner and the youngest player to win the Women's US Open Golf Championship.

1969

Double Victory

Catherine Lacoste secures a double victory at the U.S. Amateur and British Ladies Championship.

1966 to 1969

OTHER ICONS

1966

Blouson sports jacket

Lacoste designs this comfortable yet elegant iconic jacket to replace the traditional blazer on the courts.

1966

French national ski team

Lacoste designs the uniform for the French national ski team.

1968

Fragrance

Lacoste launches its first fragrance, "Eau de Sport", in a minimal white bottle framed by the brand's iconic green piping.

1969

Gilet glénan cardigan

A favourite of René Lacoste, this stylish and sporty purl-knitted cardigan is worn both on and off the court.

1969

Leather goods

Lacoste launches the first bag range, a functional yet elegant line.

1969

The polo dress

Straight and fitted, the sister to the iconic polo shirt captivates attention with its elegantly styled silhouette.

1970

The sailor sweater

Both functional and chic, this sweater designed for sailing soon becomes a classic piece of everyday wear.

1969

CHAMPIONS

1969

JEAN GARAIALDE

Winner of the Open de France, Garaialde remains the No.1 French golfer until 1985 and reigns over the sport for 40 years.

Fame and recognition

The 70s

1971

ROLAND-GARROS

Lacoste becomes the official sponsor of Roland-Garros. Each year the brand designs a collection for the French Open.

1971

THE DAMPER

René Lacoste invents and patents the "The Damper", a new vibration absorption device located in the racket handle.

1977

The president

In 1976 René Lacoste is inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1977 he becomes President of the French Tennis Federation.

1970 to 1976

The look of the 70s

1970

RUBEN TORRES

Ruben Torres is appointed fashion designer of Lacoste.

1976

Lacoste launches the "Crocodiles" advertising campaign.

lifestyle: the art of innovation, high performance and elegance

The 80s

1981

1ST Boutique

The first Lacoste boutique opens on Avenue Victor Hugo, Paris.

1981

Sunglasses

Lacoste launches the 101 sunglasses range. Elegant and high performing, the sunglasses are a hit on and off court.

Towel and bathrobe collection

Lacoste develops its first towel and bathrobe collection inspired by its range of elegant sports attire. This line is preceded by an initial bath towel line in the early 1970s.

1985

The sailboat

The Lacoste 42 yacht is launched at the Paris International Boat Show. The sailboat embodies the Lacoste values of style and high performance.

1984

EAU DE TOILETTE for men

Lacoste launches a line of fragrances. Fresh and invigorating they embody the brand's key values of elegance, authenticity and joie de vivre.

Elegance is mainly adapting clothes to the situation, to circumstances. […] and making sure the details remain discreet enough

1985

The tennis shoe

Lacoste launches its first tennis shoe range. Combining high performance with comfort the shoe is a hit on the courts.

1986

GUY PAULIN

Guy Paulin is appointed fashion designer of Lacoste.

1987

The coated petit piqué line

Lacoste launches a line of sports bags in coated Petit Piqué an innovative material for its time. Modern and light, the bag is characterized by the trademark petit piqué knit and iconic crocodile.

1981 to 1988

Innovations and players

1981

FABRICE SANTORO LACOSTE AMBASSADOR

French tennis player Fabrice Santoro becomes a Lacoste ambassador, winning 24 titles during a twenty-one year career.

1983

SEVERIANO BALLESTEROS LACOSTE AMBASSADOR

Severiano Ballesteros, the legendary golf player, wins the Augusta Masters in the USA.

THE DRIVER

René Lacoste patents an innovative new golf club made with vibration-absorbing polyurethane. Stable, lighter and more resistant it paves the way for modern golf clubs.

1988

THE EQUIJET

René Lacoste revolutionizes sports equipment design with the Equijet tennis racket, an invention that combines the benefits of wide and small racket head sizes.

1988

HENRI LECONTE, Lacoste player

Frenchman Henri Leconte is a finalist at Roland-Garros and becomes a crowd favourite around the world.

Lacoste at home and away

The 90s

1993

The watch

The Lacoste watch makes its debut, enriching the brand's lifestyle range. The distinctive timepiece has a green trim with a piqué-textured dial and strap, inspired by the brand's famous polo shirt.

1994

GILLES ROSIER fashion designer

Gilles Rosier is appointed fashion designer of Lacoste.

When I look back, I realize
that everything I have
achieved was based on
active cooperation and
friendly agreements.

1995

Opening of the 1st us boutiques

The first American Lacoste boutiques open in Palm Beach and Bal Harbour, Florida, followed by New York.

1996

WEBSITE

The first Lacoste website is launched at www.lacoste.com.

1991 to 1999

FRENCH VICTORIES AT HOME AND AWAY

1991

French victories

Fifty-nine years after the victory of the Musketeers, the Lacoste sponsored French team wins the Davis Cup. Five years later the team wins its eighth title at Malmö, Sweden.

1997

FED CUP

Lacoste players Sandrine Testud, Alexandra Fusai and Nathalie Tauziat win the Fed Cup, the world championship of women's tennis.

1997

PATRICIA MEUNIER-LEBOUC, LAcoste golf player

Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, a Lacoste Golf Player, wins the Irish Open golf championship.

1998

NATHALIE TAUZIAT, Lacoste tennis player

Nathalie Tauziat becomes the first French woman to reach the Wimbledon finals since Suzanne Lenglen in 1925.

1999

JOSE-MARIA OLAZABAL,
Lacoste player

José Maria Olazábal wins the Masters golf championship in Augusta, USA. He becomes a Lacoste ambassador in 2016

Design, communication and sport

The 2000s

2002

CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE & FASHION SHOW

Christophe Lemaire becomes fashion designer of Lacoste, succeeding Gilles Rosier. In September 2003 Lemaire presents Lacoste's first ever fashion show, in New York City.

2005

The tennis shoe

Lacoste relaunches its 1963 tennis shoes with contempory colours and patterns. They are named "René" in tribute to their inventor, and are sold in the original 60s designed box.

2009

The campanas brothers

The Campanas brothers design limited series Lacoste polos featuring reptile-inspired motifs.

2002 to 2009

THE BRAND - COMMUNICATION

2002

New logo

The world-renowned crocodile logo undergoes a facelift to meet contemporary tastes.

2006

Fondation Lacoste

The René Lacoste Foundation is created. Its mission is to support and fund projects for children to transmit key values through sport: team spirit, perseverance, tenacity, motivation and respect for others.

2008

75TH anniversary
& Lacoste future

Lacoste celebrates its 75th anniversary on the centre court at Roland Garros.
To commemorate its 75th anniversary, Lacoste produces a 3D TV spot envisioning tennis 75 years in the future.

2002 to 2008

Tennis players & championships

2001

davis cup

Guy Forget becomes captain of the David Cup team, which wins its 9th championship. A new generation of stars take the stage: Sébastien Grosjean, Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clément.

2002

SÉBASTIEN GROSJEAN

French tennis star Sébastien Grosjean and Tatiana Golovin becomes a Lacoste Ambassador.

2002

TATIANA GOLOVIN

French tennis star Tatiana Golovin becomes a Lacoste Ambassador.

2002

OFFICIAL ATP PARTNER

Lacoste becomes official apparel and footwear partner of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

2007

THAILAND OPEN

Lacoste announces its partnership with the Thailand Open.

2008

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Lacoste becomes the official partner of the Australian Open and increases its presence over three Grand Slam tournaments.

2008

MATS WILANDER

Swedish tennis great Mats Wilander becomes a Lacoste Ambassador.

2003 to 2008

Golf players & Championships

2003

PATRICIA
MEUNIER-LEBOUC

Patricia Meunier-Lebouc wins the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first Frenchwoman to a win a major tournament since Catherine Lacoste in 1967.

2004

JEAN-FRANÇOIS
REMESY

Jean-François Remesy wins the Open de France in 2004 and 2005 while Jean Van de Velde takes second place in 2005.

2005

JEAN VAN DE VELDE

Lacoste player Jean Van de Velde comes 2nd at the men's French Open.

2007

LORENA OCHOA

Lorena Ochoa, the world No 1 wins the British Open followed by three LPGA tournaments in 2009.

2008

FRENCH OPEN
AT THE CHANTACO
GOLF COURSE

The women's French Open tournament is held at the Lacoste family's golf course at Chantaco.

2008

GWLADYS NOCERA

Gwladys Nocera is the No 1 ranked European with 10 wins on the Ladies European Tour and three Solheim Cup selections.

Design for a new millenium

2010's

2010

FELIPE OLIVEIRA BAPTISTA

Felipe Oliveira Baptista takes over as Fashion Designer of Lacoste. The leading Portuguese designer offers a reinterpretation of the Lacoste brand values.

2011

Lacoste L!ve

The new clothing collection LACOSTE L!VE invokes the playful, innovative spirit of the man behind the crocodile, René Lacoste, combining sporty heritage and impeccable French elegance with an irreverent tone.

2011

Limited collection of sports equipment

In 2011, Lacoste creates a limited collection of sports equipment. Newly developed sports objects promote innovation and celebrate brand's sporting heritage.

A lifestyle brand

2012

2 crocodiles a seconde

To date, 53 million Lacoste products have been sold through 1,165 stores and over 2000 department stores across 114 countries. Two crocodiles are now sold every second.

2011

Eau de Lacoste L.12.12

Lacoste relaunches its fragmance, Eau de Lacoste, revissiting and modernizing the iconic bottle. The Lacoste polo shirt in a fragrance collection.

2012

The L.12.12 leather goods collection

Inspired by the classic Lacoste bag, the L.12.12 range in Coated Petit Piqué is modern, flexible and functional. It becomes a success, offering women a range of colours and sizes to suit any outfit.

2014

The Chantaco collection

The legendary Chantaco Golf Course inspires an elegant collection of leather goods, the Chantacocollection, destinated to become a classic.

2014 to 2016

The L.12.12 collection

The L.12.12 collection, inspired by the iconic polo shirt and its signature piqué fabric, grows with the addition of the L.12.12 watch in 2014, L.12.12 optical eyewear and L.12.12 optical eyewear and L.12.12 shoe in 2016.

Boutiques d'exception

2011

PARIS & HAMBURG FLAGSHIPS

A new Lacoste flaship store designed by Christophe Pillet opens in Paris in the Champs-Elysées, folowed by Hamburg.

2012

Shibuya Tokyo Flagship

Lacoste unveils its first store in Shibuya, Tokyo, follewed by Miami and a new flagship in Knightsbridge, London.

2016

Boulogne, Paris

An iconic store fromm the last concept "The Standard", a concept introduced in 2014 at Boulogne in Paris.

2016

World Trade Center, New York

Lacoste opens an unique and exceptional store at the World Trade Center in New York.

Communication

2012

GUSTAVO KUERTEN

Lacoste announces a five-year parternship with the famous Brazilian tennis player, Gustavo Kuerten.

2012

10 million followers

The Lacoste Facebook page reaches 10 million followers.

2013

80th anniversary

To make this historic occasion, Lacoste creates several anniversary logos, as well aspecial collection.

2014

#SPOTTHECROC on Snapchat

Lacoste is the first French brand on Snapchat with its innovative game : #SPOTTHECROC !

2015

1 million followers

The crocodile celebrates its 1 million followers on Instagram in 2015 and is proud to have surpassed the 1.5 miilion in 2016 with 1.8 million followers.

TENNIS

2011

40 YEARS OF
PARTNERSHIP with Roland-Garros

Lacoste celebrates its enduring partnership with the Grand Slam tournament dating back to René Lacoste and the Musketeers. Limited edition polo shirts and events celebrate two weeks of festivities.

2014

JULIEN BENNETEAU
& EDOUARD ROGER
VASSELIN

Lacoste players Juliean Benneteau and Edouard Roger Vasselin win the doubles title at Roland Garros.

2015

Lacoste,
Official Partener
of Miami Open

Lacoste opens a nex page in its history by becoming the Official Partener of the Miami Open.

2016

Nicolas Mahut
et Pierre-Hugues
Herbert

Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert climbed up to the world number one position of the mens doubles and won the Wimbledon title.

2016

Roberto Bautista-Agut

Roberto Bautista-Agut achieves a stunning tennis season with two titles won, in Auckland and Sophia.

GOLF

2010

CRISTIE KERR

Cristie Kerr wins the LPGA Classic and is seeded No.1 worldwide. In 2009, she won the Michelob Ultra Open (LPGA), and in 2007 she won the U.S. Open, becoming the No.4 worldwide.

2011

THOMAS LEVET

Thomas Levet wins the 2011 Alstom Open de France, the fourth consecutive victory by a Lacoste player.

2012

LACOSTE LADIES
OPEN DE FRANCE

Lacoste is title sponsor of the prestigious Lacoste Ladies Open de France, held for the first time at Chantaco Golf, Saint-Jean de Luz, the ancestral home of the Lacoste family.

2013

AZAHARA MUÑOZ

Lacoste player Azahara Muñoz wins the title at the Lacoste Ladies French Open.

2013

RAPHAËl JACQUELIN

Lacoste player Raphaël Jacquelin, the highest ranked Frenchman between 2007-2008, wins the Spanish Open.

2015

CRISTIE KERR

Cristie Kerr wins the CME Group Tour Trophy and the Kia Classic.

2016

GWLADYS NOCERA

Gwladys Nocera wins the Lalla Meryem Cup.