When you think of Lacoste, you most likely think of a white polo shirt with a little green alligator logo sitting on the breast. You may also think of sports and specifically tennis, or at least that’s what I immediately think of. I think of men and women at country clubs sitting down with iced teas after battling it out on the courts. Lacoste is part of their preppy handbook, found in the section where the wardrobe must-haves are outlined. However, for Lacoste’s 80th anniversary, the brand is mixing things up a bit.
At the Lacoste spring summer 2013 show today the lights went down and the music began with a mixing of sounds that included tennis shoes squeaking on courts and rackets slamming tennis balls. It was almost as if it were a swan song for the classic look from the brand as what we saw on the runway was the last thing you’d expect to see on a modern day tennis court. This is a brand that’s taking risks to celebrate the big 8-0.
From loosely fitted garments that play with androgyny to bold prints that seem to be a throw back to the days when Andre Agassi ruled the courts, I had mixed emotions as I watched the looks march out onto the catwalk. I wanted to like the show but what I expected and what I got were just too different. This is where as a brand it’s a risky decision to make changes as you take a chance in alienating your best customers. Yet, as an industry leader you are obligated to present “new” ideas each season, so change is in fact required. I think as I look at this collection more I will being to appreciate what has been done and the risk that has been taken may in fact pay off. For now, however, I will remain “Switzerland” about it all and let my true opinion form over time.