Other people may wonder why it took so long, but the French company famed for its ubiquitous crocodile logo and selection of sports and lifestyle pieces finally has a woman at its helm. British designer Louise Trotter will be the first lady to assume the creative direction over at Lacoste after 85 years of the brand’s existence.
Trotter joins the ranks of very few women who are currently holding the highest positions in many of the world’s recognizable and high fashion labels. Previously, she paved the way for the modernization of London brand Joseph and remained its lead for almost a decade. Trotter was also a former talent for Jigsaw, Tommy Hilfiger and Gap before joining Joseph in 2009. Her transfer to Lacoste only seems logical considering her previous work, and Trotter has expressed excitement and pride at this development, which would allow her to contribute further to fashion and the French brand that first came to be in 1933.
The British designer follows the step of former creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista, who left the company on May this year (2019). Baptista announced the ending of an era after 8 years at Lacoste, and has made great strides in the past to bring the longstanding brand to the current generation. He is credited for reinventing the classic polo shirts to appeal to modern tastes, as well as making the crocodile logo relevant once more. The designer, boasting of a resume with a degree from Kingston University in London and working experience at Max Mara, Cerruti and Christophe Lemaire, also had an eponymous brand he put on hiatus upon assuming the Lacoste leadership. His most memorable collections include the Endangered Species made in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, dropping the logo for the first time in Lacoste’s history to feature other animals that are at the brink of extinction, and the French brand’s collaboration with American street and skateboarding company Supreme, which sold out in a record-breaking time of 16 minutes.
Lacoste did not immediately have a replacement for Baptista announced, and designed its first Spring and Summer collection without the Portuguese fashion designer leading the team. The said pieces, taking inspiration from the street styles in the 1990s, made their debut during the recently concluded Paris Fashion Week. Meanwhile, Trotter stepped down from Joseph in July, leaving the brand’s pre-fall collection for this year as her last with the label.
Speaking of the woman credited for further elevating the aesthetics and style of Joseph at an interview with Business of Fashion, Lacoste Group President Thierry Guibert said that “Her visionary approach on lines and materials, as well as her expertise in creating highly technical pieces will be real assets to strengthen the positioning of our collections.” Trotter is also counted on to uphold the accomplishments Baptista has done in the past decade in bringing the brand to the younger generation. We’ll have to wait in the meantime before seeing the Trotter-led Lacoste designs; her first collection will be introduced during the Fall 2019 presentation in Paris, still a few months from now.
Image credits: Lacoste, Supreme, Getty Images, Francois Durand, Shutterstock/Sorbis/Tupungato