Lacoste Journey: There is always a new way to grow your business

Lacoste brand Villpress

 

Have you ever wondered how a brand known for sports apparel becomes a fashion icon? Let’s look into the story of Lacoste, a brand that started on the tennis courts and evolved into a symbol of stylish, everyday wear.

Back in 1933, René Lacoste, a champion tennis player, teamed up with Andre Gillier to create something novel—a shirt comfortable enough for sports but stylish enough for casual wear. What set these shirts apart was the crocodile logo, inspired by René’s nickname, “the Crocodile,” a nod to his tenacity on the tennis court. This logo, stitched proudly on the shirt, marked one of the first times a brand visibly tagged its apparel. Pretty innovative, right?

Through the years, Lacoste expanded its lineup. They didn’t just stick to tennis; they embraced the world of casual and even high-end fashion. It’s not just about sports anymore—it’s about creating a lifestyle. By the 1950s, Lacoste shirts were a hit in the U.S., thanks to a partnership with Izod. This move was strategic but not without its hurdles. They parted ways in 1993, which allowed Lacoste to regain control and direct its brand’s path forward in the U.S. market.

Fast forward to the 2000s, and we see Lacoste taking a modern turn under the guidance of French designer Christophe Lemaire. His influence helped reposition Lacoste as not just casual but downright chic, leading to a surge in popularity. By 2005, almost 50 million Lacoste products were being snapped up worldwide in over 110 countries.

But it’s not just about designing and selling. Leadership plays a huge role too. When Bernard Lacoste took ill in 2005, he passed the baton to his brother Michel. It was a critical time, and the smooth transition helped keep the brand stable and growing.

Today, Lacoste’s growth strategy includes smart licensing deals—letting other companies produce and distribute Lacoste-branded products under careful oversight. This not only expands their reach but also diversifies their product lines into shoes, fragrances, and leather goods.

What’s the takeaway for your business?
Adaptability. Just as Lacoste shifted from pure sportswear to fashion-forward apparel, embracing change and finding new ways to grow is crucial. Whether you’re refining your product or exploring new markets, remember: Evolution is key to enduring success. Lacoste’s journey from sports to style is more than just a business lesson; it’s a testament to the power of embracing change and making it work for you. Ready to make your move?

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