Tag Archives: Jean-René Lacoste

| Flashback | Original Polo

Flashback Fridays are posts and images about remembrance and reminders of things past, moments that need to be preserved for their impact on how we think about, look at, and react to modern design today and tomorrow.


Jean René Lacoste

Almost 90 years ago a staple of fashion was introduced to the world and yet its origin was not about fashion at all. At the 1926 US Open Jean-René Lacoste; yes that Lacoste, played and won in a garment not yet seen in tennis or in fashion at that time. A white short sleeved cotton shirt with a flat protruding collar and buttoned placket, it was a shirt that mitigated many issues of tennis wear, which at that time was a classic men’s dress shirt. This new shirt designed by Lacoste himself made movement easier, allowed more breathability, and its collar could be upturned to protect the players neck from intense sun. It was a revelation and would become the standard for tennis players soon after.

What he wore was a polo and a few years later he would work to market this design not simply as sports wear but as a widespread item of clothing. Slapping a crocodile(his tennis nickname) on the chest and founding his namesake brand, Lacoste’s design now finds its home in almost every wardrobe. Yet, let’s not take for granted that first spark of genius inspired by action that turned utility into timeless fashion.

– Studio of Slow and Steady Wins the Race