Although I’m a Lacoste fanatic, I’m still interested in other brands of Polo Shirts. In particular, I’ve always had a weakness for Ralph Lauren polo shirts. In my mind, they are the only real rival to original Lacoste polo shirts. So, I’ve written this post on the history of Ralph Lauren polo shirts.
As the Ralph Lauren site puts it:
An American style standard since 1972, the Polo shirt has been imitated but never matched. Over the decades, Ralph Lauren has reimagined his signature style in a wide array of colors and fits, yet all retain the quality and attention to detail of the iconic original.
The then twenty-eight year old, Ralph Lauren founded his fashion line, in 1967. Reportedly, he named the brand “Polo Ralph Lauren” because it sounded more English. In 1969, the brand had its first major success when Bloomingdale’s gave Polo Ralph Lauren its own shop within the store. This was the first designer shop within a Bloomingdales. Three years later, in 1972, Ralph Lauren launched the iconic polo shirt in twenty-four colors.
Although it is available in synthetic fabrics now, at the time of the polo shirt’s launch, Ralph Lauren was reportedly adamant about the superiority of cotton polo shirts and “open about his love for the patina of a well-loved garment, something that polyester couldn’t really offer.” This focus was reiterated in the Polo Ralph Lauren’s launch tagline “it gets better with age.”(1)
By the 1980s the brand was going head-to-head with Lacoste. As one observer put it, “The 1980’s became the decade of the polo-shirt as Lacoste and Ralph Lauren battled for the cash of Americans coast to coast.”(2). By the middle of the decade, in the United States, the Ralph Lauren polo shirt had equal status with Lacoste, although it had much less success in Europe.
Emblazoned with the iconic polo-player embroidered motif, the polo shirt has remained Polo Ralph Lauren’s most popular product for nearly fifty years. It’s truly a worthy competitor to Lacoste’s original polo shirt.
Lacoste announced that it is opening a new store at the Icon Outlet at the O2 in London. For a limited time, to celebrate the new store’s opening, they are offering a chance to win “one year’s supply of iconic Lacoste polos.”
Here’s the press release:
Icon Outlet at The O2 has announced international designer brand, Lacoste, is the latest retailer to sign for its newest outlet store at the destination. As one of the leading shopping destinations in the capital, Lacoste is set to join Icon Outlet’s robust retail offering of over 60 brands including, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, GAP, Nike and adidas.
Lacoste will open its latest 1770 square foot store on the upper level adjacent to Ted Baker and Calvin Klein, from 10am on Wednesday 2 December. The store will stock Lacoste’s apparel lines, accessories and fragrances for men, women and children, and the brand remains an official partner of the Nitto ATP Finals which recently took place at The O2 behind closed doors due to the national lockdown.
Jamie Givens, CEO for UK & Ireland at Lacoste, commented: “We are thrilled to have signed for our latest space at Icon Outlet. At Lacoste we have always been committed to designing products that combine innovation, quality and elegance. Icon Outlet embraces these notions across their retail portfolio and we look forward to showcasing our premium range of unique and original lifestyle offerings for women, men and children.”
Marion Dillon, leasing firector for Icon Outlet, added: “Lacoste is a fabulous addition to our international brands here at Icon Outlet … Lacoste is an anchor brand and their signing is evidence that Icon Outlet remains attractive to international brands interested in reaching our diverse customer base.”
Janine Constantin-Russell, managing director of Icon Outlet, added: “We are delighted to be reopening again with Lacoste now joining our family of brands.”
I love the Lacoste Un Crocodile Sweaters. but they are long gone from the Lacoste Store. Now, I’m keeping an eye out now fo see if I can find a used one somewhere on Ebay. Or, you can just look at all the other Lacoste Sweaters.
As Lacoste puts it, “All the signs of Lacoste are condensed into this fine wool sweater with flat ribbing and a tongue-in-cheek Un Crocodile design, as seen on the runway.” They feature:
- Crew neck
- Relaxed fit
- Ribbed finishes
- Premium Ribbed Wool
- Tone-on-Tone crocodile branding
You used to be able to find them in the Lacoste Fashion Show store.
Lacoste has become an official supplier of the ATP Tour after extending its deal with the governing body through to 2023.
The French company, founded by tennis player René Lacoste and André Gillier in 1939, will be the official outfitter and official footwear of the Tour.
Read more at Inside the Games.
Lacoste’s emphasis on tennis continues with the ATP Tour announcing that Lacoste and ATP have extended their partnership for multiple years:
The ATP and Lacoste have announced a multi-year extension of their highly successful partnership. The agreement will see Lacoste transition into an Official Supplier of the ATP Tour, through 2023, following a long-standing partnership with the Nitto ATP Finals, the ATP’s season-ending finale.
The new agreement will see Lacoste become the Official Outfitter and Official Footwear of the ATP Tour, granting the ‘Crocodile’ brand marketing rights and exposure on ATP Tour digital platforms.
In addition, Lacoste will continue to outfit ATP staff throughout the season.
“We are proud to be extending the ATP’s long-term relationship with Lacoste, now in its 19th year,” said Massimo Calvelli, ATP CEO. “As one of the world’s leading fashion brands, whose heritage is rooted in tennis, Lacoste has huge crossover appeal and is a perfect fit for the ATP and our vision for the sport. We are excited at the opportunity to continue our storytelling together.”
“At Lacoste, elegance is more than just a story of style on and off the court, it is a state of mind that we have shared with the ATP for 19 years now and that we are proud to perpetuate today with the renewal of our contract” said Thierry Guibert, Lacoste CEO.
The press release is on the ATP Tour website.