Very contrary to his tennis-playing qualities, the stylish “Crocodile”, Rene Lacoste, managed to create a brand that has not fallen out of fashion for the past 70 years. The new brand film under the title “Timeless” successfully proves that point.
An iconic tennis player, Lacoste was given the nickname “Crocodile” as he would exhaust his opponents for hours and then brutally attack them, just like his spirit animal. He embraced his nickname, saying that it highlighted his tenacity on the tennis courts never giving up his prey.
Just like Coco Chanel, Lacoste was also tired of the bland colours and the repetitive shapes and motives of ’20s fashion, especially when it came to tennis uniforms. In his opinion, long sleeves, long pants, and a tie were neither elegant nor sporty. He wished to advance both the sport and his own personal image by challenging the uniform status quo. He believed that functional elegance could be easily allowed with a variation on the knit preferred by Indian polo players but in his own discipline.
Partnering with André Gillier, president of the largest French knitwear company at the time, they manufactured the crocodile-laden polo shirts (la chemise Lacoste), featuring a turndown collar, three buttons on its placket, and a breathable piqué-cotton body.
In his time the polo shirt was a step towards revolution; today, however, it is considered a timeless and classic piece of clothing worthy of a male equivalent to the famous little black dress, which is precisely what the new Timeless brand film is trying to capture.
From 1993 to the present day, the film depicts the story of an epic journey and love at first sight unfolding in beautiful style through the years. The hero, who is portrayed by the young French actor Damien Chapelle, “embarks on a turbulent quest through the decades: the style evolves, but the polo shirt maintains its inalterable elegance”.
Despite its short duration, the film perfectly depicts the feelings of the young couple, the transitions both in culture and style, the intensity and agony of never reaching a loved one, and, of course, the remarkable elegance of the Lacoste brand. With a cinematic soundtrack and a passionate kiss at the very end, this brilliant short is reminiscent of the true meaning of fashion and style: elegance and beauty.
Words: Elena Cami