The Man Behind the Allitigator

Sporting a lacoste sweater during class recently my classmate couldn’t help but browse over and glance over at the alligator sewn on to my wool exterior. A question which was purposed that had me stuck. “Who made lacoste chap?” My response I really don’t know but I’ll let you know by our next class for sure. Unlike when you say you’ll hit somebody up and never do I actually wanted to know myself!

Jean René Lacoste was a French tennis player and businessman. He was nicknamed “the Crocodile” by fans because of his tenacity on the court; he is also known worldwide as the namesake of the Lacoste, which he introduced in 1929.

In 1933, Lacoste founded La Société Chemise Lacoste with André Gillier. The company produced the tennis shirt which Lacoste often wore when he was playing, which had an alligator (generally thought to be a crocodile) embroidered on the chest.

In 1963, Lacoste created a sensation in racquet technology by patenting the first tubular steel tennis racquet. Until then, racquets had almost always been made of wood. This new racquet’s strings were attached to the frame by a series of wires, which wrapped around the racquet head.

The week of his death, French Advertising agency Publicis, who had been managing the account for decades, published a print ad with the Lacoste logo and the English words “See you later…”, reinforcing the idea that the animal was perhaps an alligator.

After it all the foreign englishmen said “I was trying to help your fashion awareness on the legends before us.” I shook his hand and said “You learn something new everyday.”


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