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David Jones

Behind the Design: Lacoste L.12.12 Shoe

"Without style, playing and winning are not enough." - René Lacoste.

In the 1930s, René Lacoste was a tennis champion both on and off the court, embodying a unique style and savoir-faire — the true epitome of luxury and class. His sporting prowess and determination gave him the nickname "The Crocodile'; qualities which contributed to the design of the first ever pique polo shirt that bears the now iconic emblem of his moniker.

Paying homage to this famous shirt now recognisable the world over as Lacoste, the L.12.12 shoe leans toward the understated slim, sporting lines of the tennis courts accompanied by a monochrome aesthetic driven from Lacoste's heritage. Here we take a closer look at the distinctive elements that informed the shoe's design.


The Crocodile | The crocodile marque is one of the most well-known throughout the world, a stamp of distinguished quality and style. As poignant today as it was more than 80 years ago, the crocodile derives from the on-court nickname given to René Lacoste, and sits proudly on the new L.12.12 shoe.


Quality | René Lacoste was a leader with exceptional attention to fine detailing. With a committed belief in his processes, the L.12.12 shoe carries the intricate, meticulous detail ranging from a sophisticated cupsole construction, through to piqué lining and premium leather with punch detailing.


Heritage Style | Reflecting on the silhouettes of tennis players during the 1920s and 30s, the understated styling is a signature of Lacoste. Developed directly from the effortless charm and sophistication of the courts, clean block colour palettes feature across the new L.12.12 shoe collection.


René Lacoste | A natural elegance and sophistication has accompanied Lacoste from the early years. Style is at the very heart of the brand, clearly defined by René as a tennis player and has remained a key brand attribute for more than 80 years.


The Polo Shirt | With the very first L.12.12 polo shirt, René Lacoste showcased innovation, per fecting a fabric and design that would become a timeless classic. Achieving an elegant style that shifts from court to lifestyle, which has been carried into the new shoe – the perfect accompaniment to one of the most iconic classics in history.


Since 1933 | Ingenuity, effortless style and subtlety remain at the heart of the brand today with Lacoste’s rich history driving the new L.12.12 shoe. These values, born from the outstanding achievements of René Lacoste in sport and design, are captured in everything Lacoste do to create a timeless appeal.