MC Solaar — France’s best-known rapper — pounded out the sound while Lacoste sent out an insolent message on a T-shirt: “René did it first!”
Beating America at its own sportswear game was the story of Lacoste’s Autumn/Winter 2015 season. And designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista is right: back in the 1920s René Lacoste and his crocodile logo marked the beginning of sporty clothes incorporated into fashion.
The designer took his theme of “winter tennis” and ran with it. For both sexes he played with the tracksuit but also offered cute, girly, pleated tennis skirts. He also followed a strong theme of opening up seams and silhouettes: coat sleeves slit open to release the arms, and some panels of mesh to reflect the tennis net. Plays on checks or stripes set at an angle were graphic and stylish for both sexes.
Some balls landed out of court, but the general effect was younger and sharper. For while René may have done it all back in the “Anyone for tennis?” era, the brand now has to play the fashion game to 21st-century rules.