Designer Interview Series: Lacoste
Posted: Sep 10 2015
We recently sat down with Jason Pannozzo from Lacoste to go over their new and exciting 2015/16 collection. Jason gave us an insight on the inspiration behind the collection, new fabrications, and some of Lacoste's most popular items.
The brands founder Rene Lacoste was a tennis all star who was nicknamed as "the Crocodile" for his tenacity on the tennis court. This led to the creation of the world famous Crocodile logo that is featured on their clothing. Rene Lacoste was the first to ever design and produce what became to be the polo shirt. Lacoste was also the first brand in history to ever place their logo on the outside of the garment.
Lacoste has been a long time sponsor of professional athletes, predominantly tennis players, which has led to the brands visibility in recent years. Andy Roddick, John Isner, and Dominika Cibulkova are only a few of their sponsored athletes.
Professional tennis player John Isner for Lacoste
What was the inspiration behind the 2015/16 collection?
Jason: Really there is a lot of different areas that Lacoste wanted to focus on for 2015/16. A big part of it was athletic fashion and just an overall appearance of elegance so a lot of the pieces have a presence of elegance. This collection is little more fabrication inspired, so you see some better fabrications than normal, and a little bit more of athletic casual that can be taken from day to evening. So the transformation of wearing pieces that are appropriate from day to night. The idea is that its elegant and fashionable but at the same time athletic and sporty so that’s really the two combinations.
So you mentioned the use of new fabrications in this collection, what are some of these fabrications?
Jason: Double mercerized cotton is one of them that was very strong for Lacoste this season. It is raw cotton that is taken and dipped into sodium hydroxide and the reason being it gives more of a sheen to the fabric and it gives more of a little bit of a light airy feel. Sometimes they’ll double mercerize the garment, which means they’ll dip in the cotton in the soda again to give it even more sheen so that from the appearance of it it’s very dressy, it can almost look like silk to the naked eye but in fact it’s a double mercerized cotton. So you still have the strength and stretch and a little bit more sheen.
Another area we focused on for fall/winter and for spring summer 2016 is ultra dry fabrications so in our sports component, we have a plethora of ultra dry options. These garments have wicking properties, they’re breathable, they’re very active, you can move quite effortlessly in them, and they’re very silk touching to the skin. It’s a much more athletics inspired look but some of it again can be taken into the evening even though its ultra dry. So that’s a key component to the collection.
Jason Pannozzo demonstrating the new collection
So we also talked about the success of the light weight hoodie that have been selling really well. What are some of Lacoste’s other best sellers?
The cotton PK Polo is still the number 1 seller, our cotton prima t-shirt in various forms such as the V-neck, crew-neck, and long-sleeve, is our second best seller. The pima cotton hoodie is our third best selling item globally. After that it varies each season from fashion pieces to seasonal pieces, polo t-shirt were a great selling piece for fall winter, and in general it goes polos, t-shirts, and hoodies in various forms.
You also mentioned that Lacoste is looking to expand its selection of bottoms. What kind of items can we look forward to seeing?
We’ve always generated trousers and pants in various forms. In previous years we’ve done cotton chinos and denim. In the last number of seasons we’ve come up with some new applications like elastic bottoms, slimmer silhouettes, we have a great cargo pant with an elastic bottom and some patch pocket work on the thighs. So there is new development in pants but we still have a ways to go, but its one of the key focal points of our new CEO globally, is to capture back some of that bottom business, and of course we sort of did a 180 of that in sport. We have some incredible track pant opportunities and offers. One of them, a black track pant, we do with some meshing in a zip slim fit, very athletic and dry fit, that’s been our best selling bottom of the whole collection.
Lacoste Live 2015/16
Are there any upcoming special projects such as collaborations, athlete sponsorships that we can touch on?
We sponsor a number of female and male tennis players such as John Isner from the US, he wears Lacoste. We have Dominika Cibulkova along with a ton of other female players that wore Lacoste for tennis. We are working on new golf sponsorships. We also do a ton of collaborations with artists for kids wear. We just did a fantastic Lacoste x J.Crew collaboration and a Lacoste x Hudson Bay collaboration. So there are always things going on, we’re always collaborating. We work with bloggers, designers and artists in Europe, Japan, Asia, but they’re smaller little capsules that may not always translate over to Canada but we do a lot of those things.
Dominika Cibulkova representing Lacoste
To check out our full range of Lacoste clothing, visit us in stores or take a look at our selection online.