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Lacoste S.A.
Company typeSociété anonyme
Founded1933; 91 years ago (1933)
HeadquartersTroyes, France
Number of locations
1,100 (2023)[1]
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease US$2.69 billion (2022)[3]
Number of employees
8,500 (2019)[4]
ParentMaus Frères

Lacoste S.A. is a French luxury sports fashion company, founded in 1933 by tennis player René Lacoste, and entrepreneur André Gillier. It sells clothing, footwear, sportswear, eyewear, leather goods, perfume, towels and watches. The company can be recognised by its green Crocodile logo.[5] René Lacoste, the company's founder, was first given the nickname "the Crocodile" by the American press after he bet his team captain a crocodile-skin suitcase that he would win his match. He was later redubbed "the Crocodile" by French fans because of his tenacity on the tennis court.[6] In November 2012, Lacoste was bought outright by Swiss family held group Maus Frères.[7]


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. The company claims this as the first example of a brand name appearing on the outside of an article of clothing.[8] Starting in the 1950s, Izod produced clothing known as Izod Lacoste under license for sale in the US. This partnership ended in 1993 when Lacoste regained exclusive U.S. rights to distribute shirts under its own brand. In 1977, Le Tigre Clothing was founded in an attempt to directly compete with Lacoste in the US market, selling a similar array of clothing, but featuring a tiger in place of the signature Lacoste crocodile.

More recently, French designer Christophe Lemaire was hired to create a more modern, upscale look at Lacoste. In 2005, almost 50 million Lacoste products were sold in over 110 countries.[9] Its visibility has increased due to the contracts between Lacoste and several tennis players, including former American tennis players Andy Roddick and John Isner, French veteran Richard Gasquet, and Swiss Olympic gold medalist Stanislas Wawrinka. Lacoste had also begun to increase its presence in the golf world, where noted two-time Masters Tournament champion José María Olazábal and Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie have been seen sporting Lacoste shirts in tournaments.

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 21 March 2006.[10]

A Lacoste retail store in Delaware, United States

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, Coty Inc. owns the exclusive worldwide license to produce fragrance, and CEMALAC holds the license to produce Lacoste bags and small leather goods.[citation needed]

In June 2007, Lacoste introduced their e-commerce site for the U.S. market.[11] In 2009, Hayden Christensen became the face of the Challenge fragrance for men.[12] In September 2010, Christophe Lemaire stepped down and Felipe Oliveira Baptista succeeded him as the creative manager of Lacoste.[13]

René Lacoste Foundation is a community program developed to help children be able to play sports in school. In March 2016, the company opened a new flagship store on Fashion Street in Budapest.[14]

In 2017, tennis player Novak Djokovic was named brand ambassador and "the new crocodile" (next to Rene Lacoste) for Lacoste. This obligation includes a five-year contract as well as multiple appearances in advertising campaigns, and was extended by three years.[15]

In September 2019, Lacoste appointed Chinese singer/actor Z.Tao as their brand spokesperson for Asia Pacific as the brand's first attempt at appointing someone for the region.[16] In 2017, 2018, and 2019, Lacoste collaborated with Supreme to release a collection of co-branded clothing.[17]

In 2018, Louise Trotter was appointed creative director of Lacoste. In January 2023, she left her position after a four-year tenure.[18]

In late 2022, Lacoste signed a 15-year worldwide licensing agreement with Interparfums and plans to launch a new perfume line in 2024, after wrapping up its previous relationship with Coty Inc.[19]

In 2023, Pelagia Kolotouros became the creative design director of Lacoste.[20] The same year, in December, Arthur Fils became the brand ambassador of Lacoste.[21]

In 2024, Pierre Niney was appointed as Lacoste's new brand ambassador.[22][23] The same year, Wang Yibo became the Global Ambassador of Lacoste.[24] In June, Lacoste announced the launch of its new fragrance, Lacoste Original.[25]

Brand management[edit]

Lacoste dress.

In the early 1950s, 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 (Crystal Brands, Inc.) 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, reining in their branding arrangements. Currently, Lacoste has once again returned to the elite status it held before a brand management crisis circa 1990.

Lacoste was involved in a long-standing dispute over its logo with Hong Kong-based sportswear company Crocodile Garments. At the time, Lacoste used a crocodile logo that faced right (registered in France in 1933) while Crocodile used one that faced left (registered in various Asian countries in the 1940s and 1950s). Lacoste tried to block an application from Crocodile to register its logo in China during the 1990s, and the dispute ended in a settlement. As part of the agreement, Crocodile agreed to change its logo, which now sports scalier skin, bigger eyes and a tail that rises vertically.[26]



Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, who has captured the most grand slams of any player under Lacoste[27]

Retired players[edit]




Lacoste store in Aventura, Florida, United States

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 a variety of shops including, JD Sports, 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, Hudson's Bay (retailer), its own boutiques, and other independent retailers. In Australia, it is sold at David Jones, and Myer.


A display inside the Lacoste store located in Fifth Avenue, New York

In March 2022, Lacoste partnered with Mojang Studios, or Minecraft, to create a whole new series of apparel, called Lacoste x Minecraft. The crocodile logo will go pixelated in Аits Minecraft merch line, with lots of different varieties of the crocodile on polos, hoodies, and T-shirts.[32]


Environmental practices[edit]

In July 2011, Lacoste, along with other major fashion and sportswear brands including Nike, Adidas and Abercrombie & Fitch, was the subject of Dirty Laundry, a report by the environmental group Greenpeace. According to the findings of the report, Lacoste was accused of working with suppliers in China which contribute to the pollution of the Yangtze and Pearl Rivers. Samples taken from one facility belonging to the Youngor Group located on the Yangtze River Delta and another belonging to the Well Dyeing Factory Ltd. located on a tributary of the Pearl River Delta revealed the presence of hazardous and persistent hormone disruptor chemicals, including alkylphenols, perfluorinated compounds and perfluorooctane sulfonate.[33]

Censorship of Palestinian art[edit]

In December 2011, Lacoste was accused of censoring the work of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour. Sansour had initially been included on a shortlist of eight nominees for the prestigious Lacoste Élysée prize – a competition which had been organised by the Musée de l'Élysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, with Lacoste's sponsorship. Sansour's entry into the competition was entitled "Nation Estate", which involved a series of "dystopic sci-fi images based on Palestine's admission to UNESCO". In this work Sansour imagines the state contained within a single skyscraper, with each floor representing a replica of "lost cities" including Jerusalem, Ramallah and Sansour's own hometown of Bethlehem.

A month before the selection jury was to meet to choose the winner, however, the Musée de l'Élysée informed Sansour that Lacoste had changed its mind about including her work in the competition and asked the Museum to remove her as a nominee citing her work to be "too pro-Palestinian". Sansour soon went public with her story and within 48 hours the Musée de l'Élysée came out in her support announcing, in a press release,[34] that it had decided to suspend its relationship with Lacoste as a sponsor of this prize due to its insistence on excluding Sansour from the competition. The museum emphasized that its decision to end the competition was in line with the organisation's 25 years of commitment to artistic freedom.[35]

Lacoste's attempt to censor Sansour's work led to widespread international negative media reports on the company's actions and renewed discussions on the role of private sector companies in art sponsorships.[36][37]

Xinjiang region[edit]

In March 2020, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute accused at least 82 major brands, including Lacoste, of being connected to forced Uyghur labor in Xinjiang.[38] Later that July, Lacoste agreed to cease all activity with its suppliers and subcontractors in Xinjiang.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lacoste Unveils New and Largest Flagship on Champs-Élysées". Women's Wear Daily. 16 May 2023. Archived from the original on 18 February 2024. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  2. ^ "Find a boutique". Global Lacoste. Archived from the original on 1 February 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Lacoste Owner Looks to Snap Up More Brands as Sales Surge". The Wall Street Journal. 12 January 2023. Archived from the original on 15 September 2023. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Our organisation". Corporate Lacoste. Archived from the original on 1 February 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Lacoste Logo: Design and History". Famouslogos.net. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  6. ^ "René Lacoste". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  7. ^ Nebehay, Stephanie (15 November 2012). "Switzerland's Maus Freres snaps up Lacoste". Reuters. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Lacoste, the story of an iconic brand - LACOSTE". www.lacoste.com. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Textilimperium: Bernard Lacoste ist tot". www.manager-magazin.de (in German). 23 March 2006. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  10. ^ Wilson, Eric. "Bernard Lacoste, Executive and Fashion Entrepreneur, Is Dead at 74". Archived from the original on 1 December 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Lacoste Shop". Shop.lacoste.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  12. ^ Hasan, Sheeba (24 August 2009). "LACOSTE signs Hayden Christensen | Masala! - Bollywood Gossip News, Indian Celebrities and Pictures". www.masala.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Lacoste's New Crocodile: Felipe Oliveira Baptista". Interview Magazine. 7 September 2010. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Lacoste opens flagship store at Fashion Street". Property. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  15. ^ Marfil, Lorelei (22 May 2017). "Novak Djokovic Named Face of Lacoste". WWD. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  16. ^ "猛鱷回歸 黃子韜出任LACOSTE首位亞太區品牌代言人". tw.news.yahoo.com (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 23 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Supreme News". Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  18. ^ Lily Templeton (6 January 2023), Lacoste and Louise Trotter Part Ways Archived 14 January 2023 at the Wayback Machine Women's Wear Daily.
  19. ^ Lily Templeton (6 January 2023), Lacoste and Louise Trotter Part Ways Archived 14 January 2023 at the Wayback Machine Women's Wear Daily.
  20. ^ "Lacoste nomme Pelagia Kolotouros au poste de Creative Design Director". Vogue France. Archived from the original on 1 April 2024. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  21. ^ "Lacoste Taps Rising Tennis Star Arthur Fils as Brand Ambassador". WWD. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  22. ^ "Lacoste chooses Pierre Niney as its latest ambassador". Fashion Network. Archived from the original on 29 February 2024. Retrieved 29 February 2024.
  23. ^ "Lacoste names Pierre Niney global ambassador". Luxus +. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  24. ^ "Lacoste Names Chinese Celebrity Wang Yibo as Global Ambassador". Yahoo!. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  25. ^ "Lacoste : son nouveau parfum Original incarné par Pierre Niney". Journal du Luxe. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  26. ^ Brown, Andrew (31 October 2003). "Crocodile tears end logo fight". Turner Broadcasting System. CNN. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Lacoste & Novak Djokovic Extend Their Partnership". 3 September 2021. Archived from the original on 16 December 2022. Retrieved 23 July 2022.
  28. ^ "Lacoste Inside | LACOSTE". www.lacoste.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Ladies European Tour". ladieseuropeantour.com. Archived from the original on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  30. ^ "Home | LPGA | Ladies Professional Golf Association". LPGA. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  31. ^ "European Tour". www.europeantour.com. Archived from the original on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  32. ^ "Step Up Your Style Game With Lacoste's New Minecraft Collection". Complex. Archived from the original on 28 March 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Dirty Laundry: Unravelling the corporate connections to toxic water pollution in China". Greenpeace. 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  34. ^ "Suspension of the Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011" (PDF) (Press release). Lausanne, Switzerland: Musée de l'Élysée. 21 December 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2012.
  35. ^ Milmo, Cahal (21 December 2011). "Lacoste accused of attempting to censor 'too pro-Palestinian' art". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
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  37. ^ Swash, Rosie (22 December 2011). "Lacoste denies censoring Palestinian artist in art prize row". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 6 January 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  38. ^ Xu, Vicky Xiuzhong; Cave, Danielle; Leibold, James; Munro, Kelsey; Ruser, Nathan (1 March 2020). "Uyghurs for sale". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Archived from the original on 24 August 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  39. ^ Paton, Elizabeth; Ramzy, Austin (23 July 2020). "Coalition Brings Pressure to End Forced Uighur Labor". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 September 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2024.

External links[edit]