Lacoste has launched its first boutique exclusively for women in the upscale Passy Plaza in Paris’s tony 16th arrondissement. The gleaming contemporary shop opened just in time to show off the Spring/Summer 2012 collection by Lacoste’s new creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista. The 36-year-old wunderkind follows in the footsteps of the brilliant Christophe Lemaire, who spent nearly ten years with Lacoste, putting the sportswear label on the fashion map—and sending sales skyrocketing—before being tapped by Hermès in 2010. Lemaire’s vision for the brand blurred the line between sportswear and chic, gearing it toward a “younger, more fashion-forward audience”, expressed in a series of ads that showed leaping models wearing the crocodile shirt in unexpected ways. Baptista’s acclaimed first collection takes Lemaire’s tactics to new heights, combining plenty of sex appeal in the form of deeply slit long skirts and filmy tops, with the classic lines and fine tailoring that has long defined Lacoste. This season, Baptista’s fashion-wise collection includes luxury fabrics like silk and leather, but there’s still plenty of sporty fun: the latest version of the classic cotton piqué tennis shirt colors the iconic crocodile in the flags of 16 different nations, just in time for the Olympics.

53 rue de Passy, 16th, Métro: Passy, La Muette.

Originally published in the June 2012 issue of France Today



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