See You Later Alligator
Before I headed to off to art school in Manhattan, I was just another preppy kid in the suburbs. These days, I still lean toward the basic black of my college years, but in my younger days Levis cords with the classic Lacoste tennis polo was my everyday uniform.
Yes, I abandoned my preppy past, but it all came back to me a few years back with the opening of a Lacoste store at the local mall. In fact, the 85-year-old brand is as strong as ever in the upscale casual clothing world. Like Nike, Polo by Ralph Lauren, or even Chanel, Lacoste wearers proudly sport the company logo on their clothing and accessories. When you see the little green alligator (okay, it’s actually a crocodile) you immediately connect with the brand and lifestyle it represents.
It’s refreshing to see more and more companies leveraging their brands to take a progressive stand on some important and controversial issues. A strong, well-established logo like Lacoste’s is a powerful thing, and the company recently made the decision to bring that power to bear for a very worthy cause. Lacoste made the enlightened decision to partner with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the development of a limited edition series of their polo, replacing the familiar crocodile with ten animals on the endangered species list. For each animal, Lacoste has produced only as many shirts as there are survivors – 30 Vaquita (or Gulf of California porpoise) shirts, 67 Javan Rhino shirts, 450 Anegada Ground Iguana shirts, and so on.
It’s a head-turning idea, a strong statement from an unexpected place, and it has made an impact; the shirts sold out immediately. Don’t despair, however. You can still visit their the Lacoste website, learn all about these beautiful, endangered creatures, and give to the IUCN. It’s all about protecting these animals from extinction.
In manipulating and switching out their iconic logo, Lacoste managed to make a strong statement and elevate their brand while paying tribute to the familiar, smiling croc that made it all happen.
You can check out the whole series and contribute to a very worthy cause here: