René Lacoste was not predestined for a sporting career. Yet aged 18, he made the crucial decision to focus entirely on his passion for tennis, training tirelessly to hone his strength, precision and concentration. Willing himself to be “as perfect as possible”. Never defeated, he transformed every loss into a win for his technique. An approach that proved effective: he won seven major singles tournaments, and played on the French team who took the Davis Cup in 1927 and 1928.


Before Lacoste, tennis meant long-sleeve shirts, pleated trousers and belted waists. René Lacoste put comfort front and centre; early on he understood the need for clothing adapted to the task. Defying conventions, he shortened the sleeves of a typical tennis shirt to create the first comfortable polo. For the first time designs were embroidered with a signature crocodile, making them instantly recognizable.