The LACOSTE S. A. (formerly La Chemise LACOSTE SA) is the holding company of the internationally famous French clothing brand Lacoste.

The holding company determines the strategic direction of the brand Lacoste and watches over its image and the awarding licenses worldwide. Under the brand name Lacoste clothing, footwear, perfume, leather goods, eyewear, home textiles, clocks, umbrellas and other various accessories in the upper middle price segment are sold. The hallmark of Lacoste is a stylized crocodile, which is one of the most recognized logos in the world. The company is present on all continents of the world operates ( except Antarctica ). Since the end of 2012, the former family Lacoste is in the hands of the Swiss Maus Frères Holding from Geneva, who had already participated from the late 1990s as a minority shareholder of Lacoste.

Company History

René Lacoste

Lacoste was from the successful French tennis player René Lacoste (1904-1996) - a multiple French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open winner - was founded. Probably the most famous piece of clothing from Lacoste polo shirt, Lacoste first designed in 1927 for its own needs as a tennis shirt. Until then, was played in plain white dress shirts including white blazer tennis. The Lacoste polo shirts had the distinct advantage that they were by the specially designed ribbing (Jersey petit piqué ) airier than the other shirts. The first polo shirt by Lacoste was like the tennis shirts of course white. This polo shirt is also known as " L 12:12 " known, an encoding that the company as a 'L' for Lacoste, '1 ' for the novel pique fabric, '2' for the short-sleeved version and '12 'for the René Lacoste selected pattern model explains.

The fact that Rene Lacoste as a corporate logo is a crocodile chose is related to an incident in 1923. His tennis team mate and Davis Cup captain Pierre Gillou had at a window shop in Boston a suitcase alligator leather promised, if this were to win the meeting held on the same afternoon tennis match René Lacoste. Although Lacoste lost the game, stuck henceforth the nickname " The Crocodile" to him, the American press had launched with reference to the case - promise. It symbolizes the combative and tenacious characteristics of a crocodile at René Lacoste's excellent tennis game has been transferred. Lacoste settled then sew a medium sized green cloth badge in the form of a crocodile on the chest of his tennis clothes.

As Lacoste in 1933 a co-operation with the French knitwear manufacturer Gillier André ( 1882-1935 ) for the purpose of mass production of the polo shirts came in, La Chemise Lacoste was officially registered as a brand name. Thus considered 1933 as the founding year of the company. The Établissements Gillier was finally in 1961 by the textile group Devanlay - Recoing (now Devanlay SA) acquired by the industrialist Pierre Lévy ( 1907-2002 ). In the same year Lacoste products were first sold on the German market.

Lacoste was the first clothing company that affix its logo clearly visible on the garments. The Lacoste crocodile is it sewn like a badge, as opposed to shirts from manufacturers like Ralph Lauren or Fred Perry, where the logo is embroidered.


From 1963 to 2005, the company of René Lacoste's son, Bernard Lacoste ( 1931-2006 ) was passed, until it had to give up the management of health reasons. From September 2005 to early 2008 led Bernards brother Michel Lacoste (1944 ) the company. He was until 2012 Chairman of the Lacoste group. CEO of Lacoste was from 2008 as the first non-member of the Lacoste family Frenchman Christophe Chenut (* 1961). Devanlay was from 2009, led by the Spaniard José Luis Duran, a former chairman of Carrefour, which the former Devanlay CEO, Guy Latourette (1944 ) followed.

The creative director and chief designer of the brand Lacoste since 2010 Felipe Oliveira Baptista the Portuguese. This item had previously Christophe Lemaire (2000-2010, then to Hermès ), Gilles Rosier (1996-1999, then to KENZO ) holds and from the 1970s to 1996 Ruben Torres. Since September 2003, the Lacoste collections will be presented at the held twice a year New York Fashion Week. In previous years, the designs were shown on Lemaire's initiative at the Paris fashion shows.

Company data

1998 was acquired by the Swiss retail group Maus Freres 90 % of the shares of Devanlay. This was accompanied by a worldwide expansion and rejuvenation of the brand Lacoste, which had been subject to in the 1990s as a " sleeping giant ". In 2013 Lacoste celebrated 80 years of existence. For the occasion, Lacoste eight traditional French companies a to design a limited edition anniversary product for Lacoste: Baccarat ( crystal vase ) Bernardaud ( golf tees ), Boucheron ( crocodile brooches ) Christofle ( golf clubs made ​​of silver ), Fauchon ( éclairs ) Goyard ( travel bag ), Hermès ( tennis bag made ​​of crocodile leather ), ST Dupont ( Schreibwarenset ).

Master Licensees and contractors in the field of clothing since early days (as successor of Établissements Gillier ) the Devanlay SA based in Paris and Troyes, which is since 1998 to 90 % by the Swiss Maus Frères Holding. The Lacoste S. A. belonged to 2012, the remaining 10 % of the shares of Devanlay. Devanlay in turn held a 35 % stake in Lacoste SA; the remaining 65 % were until 2012 owned by the Lacoste family. The end of 2012 was Michel Lacoste because of family disputes a 30% stake in the company Lacoste to the Maus Frères SA, which the Swiss company over Devanlay with a 65% stake majority shareholder at Lacoste was. Michel Lacoste had previously must leave his post as president of the Lacoste group at the urging of his children Sophie and Philippe Lacoste, who was occupied in connection with Sophie Lacoste. After the sale of the shares of Michel Lacoste Lacoste Sophie saw in October 2012 forced a share in the company Lacoste - rated at this time with one billion euros - amounting to nearly 28 % of Maus Frères to sell. The Geneva-based company brought the total over 93% of the shares in Lacoste and announced to buy up the remaining shares. Beginning of 2013 was José Luis Duran as successor to Christophe Chenut CEO of Lacoste SA. With Sophie Lacoste DOURNEL and their cousin Béryl Lacoste Hamilton seated, two members of the Lacoste family on the board of the company.

The total turnover of the company in 2010 amounted to 1.4 billion euros, with 60 % of this related to clothing and textiles. In fiscal 2011, the best sales figures were achieved in the company's history of Lacoste with a total turnover of 1.6 billion euros. In 2010 Lacoste operation in Germany 38 boutiques ( half of partners operated ); there are more than 1,100 boutiques worldwide. The first German Lacoste store was opened in Hamburg in 1989. In Germany also added nearly 100 Lacoste retail space in other department stores. Sales of Lacoste lie at around 48 million items annually. The clothes from Lacoste is still partly produced in France at Troyes, where a large part and the shoes are made almost exclusively in Asia. There is a manufacturing plant in Peru for the U.S. market.

The company has for years a struggle against manufacturers of counterfeit Lacoste goods. Since 2008, Lacoste uses the slogan " Save our logo " (Eng.: protects our logo ) for endangered species of crocodiles, alligators, caimans, etc. a. Moreover, Lacoste in sports sponsorship, particularly in tennis segment operates.


The Lacoste S. A. produces itself not a commodity but instead numerous awards licenses to various manufacturers for the different products in the portfolio of the brand.

  • Clothing and leather goods - Devanlay S. A. ( For Germany, the Cologne Yello Sport GmbH holds a license; leather goods license was held by 2010 at Samsonite )
  • Shoes - Pentland Group
  • Perfume - Procter & Gamble
  • Glasses - Marchon
  • Watches - Movado
  • Home Textiles - Zucchi
  • Jewelry - Bijoux GL Group
  • And more


  • Lacoste - Sporty main collection for women, men and children clothing, accessories, leather goods, perfume, watches and shoes in the upper middle price segment
  • Lacoste L VE - fashionable women's and men's collection for a younger audience with clothing and accessories as well as own stores ( since 2010 the replacement line for the originally established in 2008 Lacoste RED collection! )
  • Lacoste Home - in 2000 launched domestic items come with bed linen, towels, bathrobes etc.