When we look at a red swoosh or three stripes making a triangle, they remind us of the chicest brand of sportswear. There is another well known symbol that helps us instantly relate to fashionable sportswear. Yes you have guessed it right the famous alligator logo of the Lacoste line of sportswear.

How it began

The Lacoste line of polo shirts made its debut long back in 1933. It was the brainchild of Andri Gillier—-the owner and chairman of the largest hosiery company of contemporary France. He conceived the plan of mass producing a line of shirt bearing a unique logo embroidered in the chest. Inspiration for the logo design came from the embroidered emblem that used to be displayed in the shirts of legendary tennis player Reni Lacoste.

Thus the first line of Lecoste shirts was inspired by the tennis shirts that the player designed for his personal use on the tennis courts.

The shirts made with French cotton pique were white in color with the right faced green crocodile embroidered in the left chest of the shirt. This uniquely designed shirt revolutionized the tennis fashion and famously replaced the traditional Oxford style tennis shirts with their stiff and starched look.

The Lacoste shirts brought a breeze of fresh air in the tennis fashion circuit and added a new chapter in the sportswear designing.

The story behind the Lacoste logo

The legendary tennis player Rene Lacoste was lovingly called the “crocodile” by his fans for his superhuman kind of tenacity that could only be compared to that of a crocodile that never seems to let its prey go. The media further publicized the name after Lecoste made a bet with French Davis cup captain on a crocodile skin suitcase which he was supposed to win followed by a victory in a crucial match.

As a result of huge popularity of this nick name, Lacoste’s friend Robert George drew exclusively for him a design of a crocodile that started to appear on his blazer that he wore on the tennis courts.

The presence of Lacoste logo on diverse products

The honor of being USA’s most recognized apparel goes to this Lecosta line of sportswear that hit the market in the 1970-80s USA. These were a series of polo shirts and jackets bearing the famous alligator logo that became the most popular and most recognized apparel brand of that time.

The 1980’s famous soap starts sported these Lecoste designer shirts and that further contributed to the brand building of this alligator logo. The Lacoste sportswear line is slightly at the higher-end of the market and sells from such retailers as Saks, 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale’s.

The famous alligator logo is also visible in the exclusive Lacoste Pour Homme perfume range where the alligator acquires a blazing silver grey color.

The metal Lacoste tennis rackets also bear the alligator logo the essential Lacoste signature.

Posted by Mash Bonigala

Mash is a Brand Differentiator & Strategist, Film Maker, Traveller, Author and Zen Practitioner. He loves mindfulness, branding, online marketing and startup business challenges.