On the tennis court, athletes flex their muscles as well as their style credentials. Should they have an eye for fashion and a sponsorship with a brand that can deliver the goods, their appearance on court is as much a display of athletic prowess as it is a chance for them to enter the tiers of sport’s most fashionable athletes.
Lacoste has long been affiliated with tennis greats, with the brand not only having impact in the professional tournaments but also outside of it. Perhaps spurred by the likes of Andy Roddick or the more recent addition of Novak Djokovic, Lacoste has become a brand that signifies the height of luxury sports apparel.
But now, the brand is transforming tennis clothes for the menswear crowd, and they’ve appealed to masterful king of style Tyler, the Creator for help in doing so.
Tyler has already proven himself to be a harbinger of the latest trends set to define menswear. His own label, Golf Wang, makes clothes that are bright and fun yet still appeal to a grown-up audience.
But in his latest collaboration with the iconic prep brand Lacoste, the hip-hop star proves that he is growing as a designer. The collection is a testament to Tyler’s development in fashion, as his subversive and multifaceted approach to style is evident throughout the entire collection. After all, it takes a great to have Lacoste change the iconic crocodile logo, but for Tyler they did – reworking the design to include an embroidered poppy flower in its jaw, directly referencing “GOLF le FLEUR” typeset straight onto tracksuit trousers or in the form of bucket hat stripes.
In line with the style Tyler showcases on stage and in his videos, his collection with Lacoste feature flat colour blocks reminiscent of ‘80s courtside hues. Tyler co-signed a set of 16 garments for Lacoste x GOLF le FLEUR, with colours themselves being renamed to express singularities produced by surprising multi-shades or complementary side tints. For instance, dusty pink is actually “litchi”, while beige is now “geode”. Off-white doesn’t exist, it’s “mascarpone”.
The collection is a display of sportswear-inflected chic infused with retro references. Straight, unisex cuts are applied to deliberately thick cotton to produce short-sleeve polo shirts, buttoned tees, sweatshirts, shorts and bucket hats that articulate an innovate, stylish poise. Even something as simple as the varsity jacket gets a couture slant, thanks to wool cloth and extra embroidery.
In a statement released from Lacoste, the collection lands “Somewhere in-between the classy, laid-back tennis lifestyle and street-level subcultures” as it “redefines conventional notions of elegance and casual style.”
The sport-oriented collection will drop on July 18 and is available exclusive at Above the Clouds instore and online. Prices start from $49.95 and range to $945, with the majority being sub $200.