Founded in 1933 by René Lacoste and André Gillier, Lacoste is a French clothing company that sells high-end clothing, footwear and most famously polo shirts. René Lacoste, the French seven-time Grand Slam tennis champion, was referred to by the American press as ‘the crocodile’, because of his tenacious play.
Lacoste found the stiff tennis attire too uncomfortable, so he designed a white, short-sleeved, loosely-knit piqué cotton shirt with an unstarched collar, a buttoned placket, and a shirt-tail longer in back than in front. Proud of his nickname, Lacoste placed a crocodile emblem on the left breast of his shirts in 1927. After retiring from professional tennis, Lacoste teamed up with André Gillier, owner of a clothing manufacturing company, to market the shirt in Europe and North America. Together, they formed the company Chemise Lacoste, and kept the small embroidered crocodile logo on the left breast.
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