Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Au Revoir

Bernard Lacoste, the French clothing manufacturer who for more than four decades put crocodiles on the chests of people around the world, died Tuesday in a Paris hospital of a lengthy, undisclosed illness, said his company. He was 74.

Lacoste, widely credited with turning the family sportswear business into a major apparel company (especially when it came to those crocodile-adorned polo shirts), succeeded his father, tennis player Rene "Le Crocodile" Lacoste, as president of the clothing company in 1963, 30 years after the company had been founded.

In the 1990s, after a period of being un-cool - think Hush Puppies, the Lacoste brand was bought back from near extinction from the Izod company in America, which had taken the crocodile-shirt brand down market in the 1980s. Re-launching the label a few years later, Lacoste is now sold at premium prices in upscale department stores and Lacoste boutiques.

It is one of my favourite summer shirts.

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