Lacoste is a manufacturer and seller of fashion products, including clothing, perfumes, shoes, watches, leather goods, eyewear, and various accessories. It is located in Troyes (France) and was founded in 1933 by Rene Lacoste and Andre Gillier. After a series of buyouts linked to financial instability, the company is now owned by the Swiss family group Maus Freres.
Meaning and History
The brand is directly linked to a dispute between tennis star Rene Lacoste and the French Davis Cup captain. They had a bet on a crocodile leather suitcase, which the tennis player saw in one of the Boston windows. He couldn’t afford it, so he made a bet: if Lacoste won, the other side would buy him a suitcase. But luck did not smile at the athlete, and the crocodile suitcase remained an unattainable dream.
Therefore, at the launch of the company, a crocodile appeared on the trademark logo, which is based on the nickname Rene Lacoste. After all, his friends called him crocodile because of his aggressive style of play and perseverance to “finish off” the tennis court’s opponent to a crushing score. However, later, because of this symbolism, the company got into a legal scandal, which ended in reconciling the parties and an agreement to amend the brand names.
The controversial emblem was also claimed by Crocodile Garments, a Hong Kong sportswear company. This misunderstanding began in the 1990s when the firm tried to enter the Chinese market. But on the Lacoste logo, registered in France in 1933, the crocodile looks to the right, and on the Garments logo, which was registered in Asia in 1940-1950, it is turned to the left.
1933 – 1984
In the original version, a crocodile is presented, identical to the real one. He has brown skin with gray-orange patches and black shadows. The tail has sharp spines, and the mouth is wide open.
1984 – 2002
In 1984, the French company created a logo with a green crocodile and red mouth. Below the image of the animal is the inscription “Lacoste” in bold uppercase letters.
2002 – 2011
After the new millennium transition, the designers changed the ratio of the graphic and text parts, making the crocodile smaller.
2011 – present
On the current logo, the brand name is written in a thin sans serif font.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The brand name appeared thanks to the nickname Rene Lacoste and, at first, was only on the tennis shirts of the athlete. Robert George developed it in 1926. The athlete wore a personal logo on his jacket. But after the creation of La Chemise Lacoste, together with Andre Gillier, the head of the knitwear business, they began to use the crocodile image throughout the entire clothing line. For ten years, Izod owned the alligator symbol, but later, Lacoste managed to regain its reputation and restore the brand.
After litigation between Lacoste and the Crocodile Garments garment and textile factory, its appearance has changed slightly due to the same emblem. The litigation resulted in the correction of the alligator’s image: now it has an almost parallel tail, large spots on the skin, and small eyes. The opponent also corrected the trademark: his reptile’s tail is raised vertically, the skin is smooth, and the eyes are large.
The Lacoste logo uses a custom font with slightly rounded uppercase letters. The color palette consists of green (crocodile), white (spots, eyes), and red (mouth). Usually, the animal is on a light background, but it also happens vice versa: a white alligator in a green rectangle.