Lacoste Celebrates its 80th with a Look at a Technology-driven Fashion Future.

For 80 years, the Lacoste has found prominence and niches in consumer’s closets. The brand has gone in and out of favor, but always hugged closely to its iconic polo shirt and alligator logo patch. The Ralph Lauren Polo shirt and stitched polo pony would not exist without Lacoste. In the 1980’s it was said alligator patch that was routinely cut out of prepsters shirts in an anti-prepster message. Even without the patch, everyone knew it was Lacoste.

Now, to celebrate their octenegenarian status in fashion culture, Lacoste is launching a marketing campaign suggesting it has a style and color for every mood, and every time of your life.

A television ad imagines an iPad type world where a swipe or a tap of that iconic patch allows you to change the color or style of your Lacoste tennis shirt. The concept is intriguing—being able to customize your look on the fly. Someone in Silicon Valley is probably trying to make this a reality as we speak.

“A generation of affluent, tech-obsessed digital natives won't even have to blink twice to suspend disbelief while watching the commercial,” writes Adweek. “And its chameleonic effects are aimed squarely at those same millennials, notoriously perceived as fickle, by a brand that doesn't really ever seem to change that much. Lacoste wants those kids—geeky preps of tomorrow—to know it has the shirts of tomorrow.”

The campaign is a way of announcing that Lacoste is here to stay, and will be with us in our future. Even though it has been 80 years since founder Rene Lacoste unveiled the L.12.12 (get the timing?), Lacoste and that dang alligator are part of our fashion culture.

And what’s a marketing campaign today without a user-generated Facebook contest? Lacoste is asking consumers to help invent the Polo of the Future online with a design contest to reinvent the iconic shirt. The most creative design to be rendered by an artist and featured online.

Now, Lacoste just needs to partner with an innovative technology genius and soon their shirts of the future will be as commonplace as an iPad.

Viva le Lacoste.

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