Until recently, what with all of the strong sportswear-inspired collections at the moment, the idea of wearing any form of sportswear outside of the gym was a no-no. So despite Lacoste's ready-to-wear collection, their sports heritage meant that they were never a brand I've ever been particularly drawn to. That all changed recently when images of these bad boys hit my inbox.
The shoes are a part of the brand's S/S12 offerings and were shown during New York Fashion as a part of a special limited edition range to mark Felipe Oliveira Baptsite's debut collection as creative director. Far from being sporty, the shoes are the perfect practical summer shoe, or at least as practical as I'm prepared to go, and the black and tan colours that they come in will no doubt see you from season to season.
For those of you who are a fan of a good sports shoe, don't worry because Lacoste still delivers an assortment of them but the introduction of the new pieces hopefully marks the start of a lot more fashion-led styles to come.
I've always been a fan of Christophe Lemaire. The designer, who is best known for his work at the helm of Lacoste before moving to Hermes in 2010, also has a great brand of his own. The line, which he began in 1991 but relaunched back in 2006, epitomises the simplicity and timeless quality that has been doing the rounds since the midst of the recession and as a result of the 'Philo Effect'. Anyone that has followed the brand though will know that this is something that Lemaire has always done.
With that in mind, the news that he's working with thecorner.com on a capsule collection of the key wardrobe essentials for the summer season makes sense. The line, titled 'Radical Simplicity', features wardrobe stapes like the classic white shirt but with a modern twist alongside versatile simple dresses, Bermuda shorts and classic cropped trousers. At a recent talk at Browns, L'Wren Scott emphasised that collections should always be about building a wardrobe rather than simply tapping into trends and if you share her sentiment, you'll love the collection.
Clockwise from top left: Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, Lacoste, Peter Som, Rag & Bone, Richard Chai Love
Get to know the name Julia Nobis. Although the name may not ring a bell, if you've been paying attention to the S/S12 shows this week you have definitely seen her face. This season, the yound model has already walked for Lacoste, Peter Som, Richard Chai Love, Derek Lam and Alexander Wang.
New Hermes designer Christophe Lemaire, who came to the label from his former post as creative director of Lacoste, says he's going to handle fashion week in a fairly simple setting when he shows his first collection in March. Rather than putting on a runway extravaganza like former Hermes designer Jean Paul Gaultier, Lemaire says an intimate approach is just fine.
The designer told WWD: "I think that it’s time to go back to a more honest vision of fashion, and that there is room for a simpler, more pared-down wardrobe that is better suited to everyday life. I have always campaigned to bring quality and, if possible, poetry to everyday life. You don’t change your wardrobe every six months. You build it up over time."
He continued to say that he'll be more like Martin Margiela, who designed for Hermes from 1998 to 2003, than Gaultier. And as for rumours of tension with his previous management at Lacoste, the designer explained: "I think I succeeded in projecting a certain vision of the brand [at Lacoste]. The problem with a brand is that if the designer has a vision and the management does not have the same vision, or does not understand that vision, then there is obviously a disconnect. So I think that is being addressed, but it was definitely an issue for me."
Lacoste recently revealed that they are plannign to revamp the brand in the new year. The first stage of their new marketing strategy was to update their well known tagline "Un Peu d'Air Sur Terre" - meaning 'A Bit of Air on Earth' - to 'Unconventional Chic'. The new tagline appears in their new campaign featuring Anja Rubik, Noah Mills, Jon Kortajarena and Liya Kebede shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot, all sporting the brand's iconic white polo shirt over black eveningwear.
When asked about the idea behind the campaign Lacoste CEO Christophe Chenut said, “We’re showing that you can be chic in a different way, not just when you are dressed up for a party or for the office.”