Last month, Bella Hadid was photographed wearing a white mini tennis skirt by Lacoste with a matching sports bra and Nike trainers. The supermodel wasn’t on her way to the courts to hit a ball around, rather she was spending the day in New York City with her new beau Mark Kalman, complete with a full face of makeup, her hair done in a high ponytail and vintage Galliano-era Dior sunglasses. Hadid is undoubtedly one of the most stylish women in the fashion industry currently, so it’s no surprise that her outfit, paired with the timing she wore it (during Wimbledon), prompted searches for Lacoste-branded tennis skirts to jump, if only in my WhatsApp group where finds were screenshot and sent for the approval of fellow mini-skirt chasing group members.
The pre-pandemic athleisure trend and the loungewear we’ve spent the past 18 months in may be on its way out, but sportswear when done right most definitely isn’t. Lacoste’s creative director Louise Trotter is well aware of the changing attitude towards fashion as we reenter the world. Who could miss the headline-making micro-mini skirts and low-rise everything on Miu Miu’s runway yesterday? Or the ultra-sexy cut-out designs seen everywhere on the runways from New York to Paris (not least on Bella Hadid)?
For the Lacoste consumer, Trotter isn’t bowing to those specific trends—though a micro-mini low-rise tennis skirt by the house would no doubt sell well in today’s climate. Instead, she’s offering an expansion of the brand through to other sports beyond tennis. Trotter has spent the past year redefining what she wants the French house to represent, which came together in a collection presented yesterday on the final day of Paris Fashion Week’s Spring Summer 2022 season.
The runway might have been made of a long white net in the middle of the show space and ponging of tennis balls might have made up the soundtrack, but the collection included basketball looks, skateboarding looks and even pieces made for a diver.
Models, including US Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter Ella Emhoff, made their way along the faux court wearing sneakers and slides, while Gossip Girl’s Evan Mock sat pretty in the front row. The collection included rubber versions of the brand’s classic tennis skirts and a new neoprene piqué material sure to pique the interest of Gen Z and younger millennials who are embracing ‘90s and Y2K-era fashion. Speaking of the current trends, Trotter included cargo pants, crop tops and even oversized baggy vests with see-through mesh at the bra-line, and the pleated skirts styled under oversized jackets in tan colourways are sure to sell like hotcakes.
Noticing her consumer’s want for vintage pieces, Trotter also rereleased one of Lacoste’s most sought-after garments: the iconic V-neck tennis sweater from her first collection for the brand, hand-embroidered with the brand’s alligator logo on the check, which made its way down the runway yesterday in an attention-grabbing neon yellow.
Though Hadid herself wasn’t present in the cast—she both opened and closed Lacoste’s final pre-pandemic show—there’s no doubt pieces from this collection will be front and centre in her wardrobe next summer (which means it’ll also be in all of ours).