When French tennis player René Lacoste founded his eponymous brand, he started out with the polo shirt and revolutionised the attire for the sport that he loved. Fast-forward 85 years later, the premise of Lacoste remains the same—a brand that is modern and elegant in its appeal with clothes that look great both on and off the tennis courts.
Lacoste’s offerings have since changed. The range now covers everything from footwear to bags and small leather goods. But at the heart of the brand is the 1933 original L.12.12 polo shirt in petit piqué cotton fabric that’s still a mainstay. The design of Lacoste’s polo shirts has seen through many different iterations to suit the needs and styles of the times. Change is constant after all.
In celebration of its 85th anniversary, Lacoste tips its hat to its founder and its longstanding legacy by recreating a selection of eight polo shirts. Each polo shirt represents each decade since the brand was founded and is defined by the style of the period, showing how Lacoste was informed not by function alone. The polo shirts are also tagged with the ‘La Chemise Lacoste’ label as a nod to the original name of the brand.
We highlight three of the eight polo shirts that are part of the 85th anniversary collection and captured them with equally signature Singaporean architecture of the same decade. Just like the buildings, these reissues—and the iconic crocodile logo emblazoned on them—withstand the test of time.
The original ‘30s
This was where it all began. The ‘30s reissue polo shirt takes reference from the prototype that paved the way for the original L.12.12 polo shirt. It’s easily distinguishable from the rest in the collection with its patch pocket. If you’re already familiar with the modern L.12.12 polo shirt, this reissue is a similar fit except that the sleeves are slightly longer to stay true to the original. It’s an homage but oddly enough, doesn’t look out of place today. The ‘30s reissue is available in ecru, navy blue and red.
The vintage ‘50s
The ‘50s polo shirt is the only long-sleeved design in the collection. It’s also a modern interpretation of the first polo sweatshirt to have ever been designed at Lacoste. The design includes ribbing on the neckline, sleeves and hem just like the original but features a slimmer fit. The ingenuity lies in the specially designed collar which resembles that of a regular Lacoste polo shirt. A hybrid of a polo shirt and a jumper? Très chic.
The modern 2000
By the turn of the millennium, the polo shirt became a wardrobe staple owing to its comfort and versatility. The 2000 reissue polo shirt is a nod to the minimalist style of the period and is accented with an abstract graphic—based on Lacoste’s first black and white colour block polo shirt—that gives it a sportier feel. It’s right in the lane of our burgeoning obsession with marrying activewear details with everything else in our wardrobe; athleisure. The 2000 reissue is available in white and electric blue.
The Lacoste 85th Anniversary collection is available in all Lacoste stores. Visit a special exhibition created in honour of the 85th anniversary at Level 1, Raffles City Shopping Centre Garden Court from 14 June 2018 to 24 June 2018. Discover the story of René Lacoste and the evolution of the iconic L.12.12 polo through the decades at this interactive event and stand to win a wardrobe makeover by Lacoste.