Rock the croc: Lacoste celebrates reptile style with limited-edition kicks


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Ever wonder how the crocodile ended up as the brand ambassador for a line of French polo shirts? Today Lacoste leverages its famous emblem with the launch of a website and viral YouTube videos dedicated to the cult of the croc, which kicks off a series of limited-edition Lacoste sneakers that reference the animal’s place in mythology and urban legend around the world.

From the flushed pets that become Manhattan’s sewer-dwelling terrorists to Sobek, the Egyptian half-man/half-crocodile (manodile? cran?) said to have created the world, the site showcases nine such tales each with a pair of myth-inspired kicks to match. The footwear will be rolled out three styles at a time to a small selection of boutiques nationwide (consult the store locator at the website for specifics).


My favorite is in the first crop out of the gate on April 1; the Tiller Egypt (pictured, $120), with a green shade inspired by the belly of the Nile crocodile and a canvas upper with laser-etched pyramid designs that resemble the croc’s skin.

But back to the origin of the emblem in the first place. Here’s the way the company explains it:

‘It began in 1925, when Rene Lacoste, the founder of the brand, made a bet with Pierre Gillou, the French Davis Team Captain, the prize being a crocodile skin suitcase that Rene had spotted in the shops of Boston.

To win the bet Rene Lacoste had to win his next Davis Cup match against the Australian player Anderson, during the days that followed the story of the bet was recounted to George Carens a local journalist. Following the match, which Rene Lacoste did not win, Mr Carens wrote “The young Lacoste has not won his Crocodile skin suitcase but he fought like a real crocodile”.

The nickname stuck and Rene Lacoste adopted the crocodile as his emblem and soon had a crocodile embroidered onto the outside pocket of his jacket and the legendary brand logo was born.’

-- Adam Tschorn

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