Fashion and Beauty

Lacoste’s 'New Crocodile' is Novak Djokovic

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star
Lacosteâs 'New Crocodile' is Novak Djokovic

Lacoste CEO Thierry Guibert (left) announced that Novak Djokovic is the French brand's new ambassador, under contract for five years.  Since it was Djokovic's birthday, Lacoste gave him a special gift: his image on the court of the Monte Carlo Country Club.

MONACO — After almost 85 years, Lacoste has a new Crocodile.

On May 22, the French apparel company announced in Monte Carlo that the world’s No. 2 male tennis player, Novak Djokovic, is its new brand ambassador.

“When we choose an ambassador, we first choose values, and Novak has the simplicity, humility and family values we were looking for,” said Lacoste Group CEO Thierry Guibert. 

The original Crocodile, René Lacoste, founded the company in 1933 and distinguished the brand with its iconic crocodile logo.

The New Crocodile was in high spirits: the announcement, held at the Monte Carlo Country Club in Monaco, where Djokovic has lived for over 10 years, coincided with the tennis superstar’s 30th birthday. Nole, as he is nicknamed, said he sees many similarities between himself and the original Crocodile. 

“He had a wall in his house in Biarritz about where he started playing and trained in tennis, and I have a wall in my home as well, which was an important part of my childhood days and my tennis beginnings in Serbia,” Djokovic said.

Nole used to raid his father’s closet for Lacoste polo shirts, which he will no longer have to resort to as Lacoste has designed a whole new collection around him that the tennis superstar will wear at the Stade Roland Garros, where he will defend his French Open title.

A sample from Lacoste's new collection and campaign for Novak Djokovic: He will wear them when he defends his French Open title at Roland Garros.

“I prefer to wear camouflage on court — colors that are closest to the court — because it’s harder for my opponents to see me,” Djokovic admitted. “I care about what I wear on court, how I feel and look, because it keeps the game dynamic and quick. I’m not fond of one color or matching my shirt with my shorts, even if it’s a Lacoste preference,” he laughed.

The signing is a coup for Lacoste, whose highest-ranking brand ambassador thus far has been Frenchman Benoit Paire, currently No. 44 in the ATP men’s tennis rankings.  Guibert says Djokovic is under contract with Lacoste for five years.

Djokovic, whose contract with Uniqlo recently expired, said that while that was an “interesting and very successful partnership,” he found it very easy to relate to Lacoste “because it’s a brand that comes from my field of life: tennis,” he says.

Djokovic also confirmed that he had hired Andre Agassi to coach him for the French Open “because he’s been through the same things I have,” and that for his birthday he received the “best gift from the heavens” — that his wife, Jelena, is pregnant with their second child.

In the Philippines, Lacoste and Lacoste Accessories  are exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc., a member of the SSI Group, Inc.  Visit www.ssilife.com.ph  for more information. 

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