Lacoste swaps its crocodile for logos of endangered species

Models present creations for Lacoste during the 2018/2019 fall/winter collection fashion show in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 28 February 2018
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Lacoste swaps its crocodile for logos of endangered species

PARIS: French fashion brand Lacoste on Wednesday swapped the crocodile logo on its shirts for the first time in its history for 10 of the most endangered species on the planet.
The green Lacoste crocodile — one of the world’s best-known logos — was replaced by the Sumatran tiger, the Javan rhino and the Cao Vit gibbon on the chest of its classic white polo shirts in a limited edition charity tie-in with the Save Our Species conservation group.
All but a handful were sold out within hours of going on sale for 150 euros ($183) immediately after the brand’s Paris fashion week show.
The number of polo shirts put on sale was directly linked to remaining numbers of each threatened species surviving in the wild — with only 30 for vaquita porpoises and 231 for Californian condors.
Designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista also included camouflaged images of each of the endangered animals in the last 10 looks in his autumn-winter collection.
“I think it is a great thing to do, and feels very gratifying if we can do something for these animals,” he told AFP.
“Lacoste is one of the 10 more recognizable logos in the world with Coca-Cola and Apple.”
The Portuguese designer said he had to be careful about using the crocodile logo — which dates from 1933 — “with respect. I don’t like to plaster it everywhere. Either you be very classic with it or very original, and in this case it’s quite original I think.”
Lacoste’s crocodile logo still features on the back of the 1,775 shirts.
Oliveira Baptista said he took his inspiration for the main collection from the 50,000 trees the Lacoste family planted around their golf course at Saint-Jean-de-Luz in southwest France during World War II.
It was also a way of sparing local men from being sent to German forced labor camps, as forestry workers were exempt from conscription, he said.
The designer had Princess Diana and the English upper classes at play in mind when he began creating the collection, with some models wearing wellingtons with hunting ponchos and boonie sun hats on top of hoodies.
“I got inspired particularly by looking back at pictures of Lady Di: how she wore clothes that were high and low at the same time,” he added.
“I was looking for something timeless, something that would last more than six months.”


Michael Kors agrees to buy Versace for €1.83 billion

Updated 25 September 2018
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Michael Kors agrees to buy Versace for €1.83 billion

MILAN: US fashion group Michael Kors has agreed to buy Versace in a deal valuing the revered designer at $2 billion including debt, the companies said on Tuesday, making it the latest Italian brand to fall into foreign hands.
Michael Kors, whose namesake label is best known for its leather handbags, has made no secret of its ambition to grow its portfolio of high-end brands after buying British stiletto-heel maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion last year.
Versace, known for its bold and glamorous designs and its Medusa head logo, was one of a clutch of family-owned Italian brands cited as attractive targets at a time when the luxury industry is riding high on strong demand from China.
“We believe that the strength of the Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo brands, and the acquisition of Versace, position us to deliver multiple years of revenue and earnings growth,” John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors said.
As part of the deal, Michael Kors agreed to buy all of Versace’s outstanding shares for a total enterprise value of €1.83 billion ($2.2 billion), to be funded in cash, debt and shares in Michael Kors Holding Ltd, which will be renamed Capri Holdings Ltd.
US private equity firm Blackstone, which bought 20 percent of Versace back in 2014, will fully exit its investment.
The Versace family, which currently owns 80 percent of the fashion house via a holding company called Givi, will receive €150 million of the purchase price in Capri shares.
“We believe that being part of this group is essential to Versace’s long-term success. My passion has never been stronger,” said Donatella Versace, sister of the company’s late founder, and artistic director and vice president of the Milan-based group.
After the deal, Versace CEO Jonathan Akeroyd will remain at the helm of the company, while Donatella Versace will “continue to lead the company’s creative vision,” Idol added.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth fiscal quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.
Michael Kors said it plans to grow Versace’s global sales to $2 billion globally, boost its retail footprint to 300 stores from around 200 at present and accelerate its e-commerce strategy. It also plans to raise the share of higher-margin accessories and footwear to 60 percent of sales from 35 percent.
Versace does not disclose its financial details, but documents deposited with the Italian chamber of commerce show that last year it posted sales of €668 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and appreciation of €45 million.