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#LBSSCourtside: Clothings brands born from tennis players

  1. Lacoste

Lacoste is a French clothing house that is renowned for its iconic crocodile logo placed on the left-hand side of the chest of their merchandise. It was founded in 1933 by René Lacoste, who became famous for the invention of the polo shirt as well as for his success as a tennis player. The crocodile, symbol of the French house, is applied hot on clothing. The classic logo has remained unchanged over the years, though it has undergone a slight reduction in size in recent decades. Sometimes the crocodile can also be of a color other than green. The polo shirt began to be worn in the late 1920s by René Lacoste, who was dominating the tennis scene at the time. Tradition has it that Lacoste, eager to create a sporty, comfortable and functional garment for tennis players at the time, considered two garments: the shirt and the T-shirt. From the fusion of these two items of clothing was born what is called the “polo” which retains the practicality of a short-sleeved T-shirt, combined with the elegance of the shirt.

 

  1. Fred Perry

Following the success achieved by René Lacoste, fellow tennis player, Fred Perry, created the clothing line that bears his name in 1952. It was specialized above all in the production of polo shirts and had an immediate success, especially in Great Britain. In the following years, the brand detached itself more and more from the image of sportswear to become a brand popular with youth movements such as mods and skinheads. Fred Perry polo shirts feature a laurel wreath on the left-hand side of the chest as a distinctive sign. They are distinguished from Lacoste by the fact that the logo is embroidered into the fabric rather than being sewed onto it as is the case for the small French crocodile.

 

  1. Sergio Tacchini

Sergio Tacchini is an Italian fashion designer, entrepreneur and former tennis player. He was five times Italian doubles champion: three times with Giordano Maioli (1966, 1970 and 1971) and twice with Nicola Pietrangeli. In 1960, he even reached the Davis Cup final with the Italian national team. Sergio Tacchini, as an entrepreneur, is considered an innovator in the world of tennis: in the 1950s, he gave impetus to the introduction of colors in tennis clothing, a world hitherto dominated by white. His entrepreneurial activity began in 1966 with the creation of Sandys S.p.A., which later became Sergio Tacchini S.p.A. The brand, initially created for tennis, extended its activities to other sports and leisure sectors. In 1992, Tacchini was named Cavaliere del Lavoro. Following a period of crisis, on June 4th 2007, H4T (Hembly for Tacchini) officially entered the Tacchini group. H4T was a Chinese company controlled by Billy Ngok, president of Hembly International Holdings, who transformed it into a brand company. Hembly for Tacchini was later renamed “Sergio Tacchini International” in 2013.

 

  1. Stan Smith

Stan Smith is an American tennis coach and former tennis player. In 1971, Adidas, which was Stan Smith’s technical sponsor, offered him to wear a new model of tennis shoe called the Haillet, dedicated to the French tennis player Robert Haillet. In 2011, forty years after the Haillet model, Adidas released a revised and corrected model on the market, naming it after Stan Smith. The peculiarity of this model is the presence of the stylized image of the tennis player imprinted on the tongue of the shoe rather than the classic Adidas logo. In addition, unlike the vast majority of Adidas shoes that have three identifying stripes on the outside of the shoe, the Stan Smith shoe has three rows of holes for air to circulate. The enormously successful model was put back into production in 2014, even though, paradoxically, they are not shoes suitable for sports practice and even less for tennis.

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