Louis Émile André Gillier, the little-known co-founder of Lacoste fashion, was a French textile manufacturer. He was born on December 11, 1882 in Troyes, France. He was a graduate of the École Polytechnique, and was the manager of the knitwear company Établissements Gillier, also in Troyes, from 1908 until his death on May 16th, 1935. He was nicknamed the “industrial philanthropist” for his progressive salary policies, including the first paid holidays prior to their national introduction in 1936.
He was also a great innovator in the fashion industry. creating Jil, the first men’s underwear brand in 1929. But, he is best known for creating Lacoste in partnership with René Lacoste, after he met the tennis player at René’s father’s garage. As an expert in loose-knit fabric, André Gillier was the perfect collaborator for Lacoste as he designed his first polo shirt. Together, they created the famous piqué cotton used in all Lacoste shirts.