Jan 1, 1933 to Present
FranceLacoste is a French company, founded in 1933 by tennis player René Lacoste and André Gillier. It sells clothing, footwear, sportswear, eyewear, leather goods, perfume, towels and watches. The company can be recognized by its green crocodile logo. René Lacoste, the company's founder, was nicknamed "the Crocodile" by fans because of his tenacity on the tennis court. In November 2012 Lacoste was bought outright by Swiss family-held group Maus Frères.
However, starting in 2000, with the hiring of a new fashion designer Christophe Lemaire, Lacoste began to take over control of its brand name and logo, reining in their branding arrangements. Currently, Lacoste has once again returned to the elite status it held before a brand management crisis circa 1990.
In December 2011 Lacoste was accused of censoring the work of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour. Sansour had initially been included on a shortlist of eight nominees for the prestigious Lacoste Élysée prize – a competition which had been organized by the Musée de l'Élysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, with Lacoste's sponsorship.A month before the selection jury was to meet to choose the winner, however, the Musée de l'Élysée informed Sansour that Lacoste had changed its mind about including her work in the competition and asked the Museum to remove her as a nominee citing her work to be "too pro-Palestinian". Sansour soon went public with her story and within 48 hours the Musée de l'Élysée came out in her support announcing, in a press release, that it had decided to suspend its relationship with Lacoste as a sponsor of this prize due to its insistence on excluding Sansour from the competition.
In 2017, tennis player Novak Djokovic was named brand ambassador and "the new crocodile" (next to Rene Lacoste) for Lacoste. This obligation includes a five-year contract as well as multiple appearances in advertising campaigns.