When you think of Lacoste, sneakers are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, they’re probably not the second, third, or forth, either. However, the brand with the iconic embroidered crocodile is determined to change that starting with the revamp of its Missouri M85 sneaker.
As the ultimate purveyor of the polo shirt, Lacoste is often still considered much more at home in the country club than it is on the street. As such, its place in streetwear is often underestimated. Yet, the fact that the green crocodile is such a recognizable and respected logo 85 years after its conception by French tennis player René Lacoste and knitwear manufacturer André Gillier is a testament to the brand’s status. Its longstanding and continued relevance in the fashion industry has naturally spilled over into streetwear and made it a foundational pillar, especially in its native France.
In recent years, the brand has demonstrated its versatility, progressive mindset, and affinity for subcultural movements by collaborating with the likes of Supreme, French art and design duo M/M, and a number of Japanese brands including with the forward-thinking fashion label from ex-COMME DES GARCONS pattern maker Chitose Abe’s, sacai. In March, the brand made a statement (and in turn manifested its own conscientious leanings) on the critical status of many in the animal world through switching out its famed crocodile logo for a series of endangered species on its trademark polos shirts — released in conjunction with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Although apparel remains at Lacoste's core, the brand actually has a rich and relatively untapped footwear archive that dates back further than you may think—all the way to 1985. At that time, Lacoste had established itself as a reputable performance tennis label but decided to venture into footwear as the early athletics and first wave of home fitness trends began across Europe and, especially, the States. Lacoste subsequently released a number of court-ready silhouettes that were unmistakably bolder and future-facing. One of these was the M85, which has become one of the French label's most iconic models of that time. It's also since served as inspiration for a number of other silhouettes that followed.
Now, as the brand steps further into kicks territory, it was the obvious choice for a 2018-revamp. Echoing the design of the archival M85 model, the 2018 Missouri M85 sees the court silhouette updated with a mid cut and premium full leather upper, while the Lacoste branded hook-and-loop fastener harks back to the original.
Staying faithful to the brand’s classic color palette, the sneaker’s full white leather upper is offset with accents of red and the unmistakable Lacoste green. No design would be complete without the iconic embroidered crocodile, which features on the lateral quarter of the sneaker.
The Missouri M85 drops today October 15 in select stores worldwide as well as on lacoste.com. Until then, check out the images on this page that we shot with Lacoste of the new sneaker styled out with vintage Lacoste apparel.