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The 50 Greatest Menswear Brands of All Time Champion tennis player and Lacoste founder Rene Lacoste

26. Lacoste

Founder: Rene Lacoste and Andre Gillier
Year Founded: 1933

Can you even imagine a world without the tennis shirt? RenĂ© Lacoste was a tennis superstar in the 1920s and 30s, known as The Crocodile. His signature was the tennis shirt-you might know it as the polo shirt-a knit, short-sleeved sport shirt which we all know today but was quite new at the time. His featured a crocodile on the breast-a nod to his nickname-and he started selling them in the early 1930s. The revolution was multi-part: He helped popularize casual sports clothing, he created a preppy classic, and he helped invent branded clothing and athlete-endorsed brands. Quite a legacy.

Tags: menswear
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