Plenty of us wear the Lacoste brand but very few know its true origins. The entrepreneurial spirit, even before his retirement from sport, the french tennisman René Lacoste had founded a private company of sport articles, being one of its most devoted customers. The company was called La Société Chemise Lacoste and was created by him and André Gillier in 1933. It produced the tennis shirt which Lacoste often wore when he was playing tennis. All the T-shirts had an alligator (generally thought to be a crocodile) embroidered on the left chest. The origin of the crocodile comes from René's nickname in his sport life. The representant of the white sport was called ''the crocodile'' by the american press due to his tenacity on the court. The shirt represented nothing more than a simple white cotton jersey, with a little embroidered crocodile. Lacoste claims this as the first example of a brand name appearing on the outside of an article of clothing. In 1951, the company began to expand as it branched from "tennis white" and introduced color shirts. In 1952, the shirts were exported to the United States and advertised as "the status symbol of the competent sportsman".
Nowadays, besides the revolutionary tennis shirts, Lacoste is producing high-end clothing, footwear, perfume, leather goods, watches and eyewear. In recent years, Lacoste has introduced a home line of sheeting and towels. In addition to tennis shirts, Lacoste produces shirts for golf and sailing, influencing the clothing choices of the upper-class.