At the dawn of World War II, René Lacoste and his wife, Simone Thion de la Chaume, developed a wide-ranging tree development project for the golf course of Chantaco in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, around the family grounds.
At that time, a number of locals were spared from mandatory work in Germany thanks to the Lacoste family, who employed them to plant trees on the family golf course, as the law protected forestry workers from conscription.
This is how 50 000 trees, covering almost 125 acres, were planted during the war, many varieties of pine trees (Maritime, Scotch, Weymouth, Austrian and Umbrella pines), as well as red oak trees, while the workers, themselves, were kept safe. As for the Golf de Chantaco, it is the most tree-lined in France.
This is the starting point for our collection this season: a tale of empathy, of kindness and of hope. Its universal reach touched me, and I wanted to transmit it by immersing you as much as possible in Chantaco, the backdrop to this lesser known part of Lacoste history.
We hold the story in our hands, while it takes place before your eyes: elegant photos of the period showing the Thion de la Chaume-Lacoste family on their land; old archive pieces of golf wear collections of the 80’s and 90’s; the club house; the family home…
These are some of the reminders of the past that inspired the imagination of our creative team. We wanted to go back to the essential values, find meaning and refuge in nature: notions of mobility, protection, comfort and hybridity became natural guidelines. Those were translated into streamlined functional clothing, aiming for a sense of timelessness suited to tomorrow’s needs.
For the Lacoste 85th anniversary, I decided to unveil a lesser known side of the brand’s heritage: the Golf de Chantaco, its surroundings, as well as Simone Thion de la Chaume, René’s wife; two champions side by side.
The latest collaboration of the house is presented here, and available as of today on Lacoste.com. We are launching a partnership with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), and creating 10 new polo shirts, where our beloved crocodile will exceptionally make room for 10 threatened species.
This collaboration is especially important to me, due to the extreme urgency and seriousness of its character. Ten looks of the show are dedicated to these ten species.
This is our way of planting trees in 2018.
Felipe Oliveira Baptista