Box Vox

packaging as content

December 13, 2011

Bottles with Embroidered Shirt Labels

LaCoste

Another example of cross-category, clothing-related package design: Eau de Lacoste “Poloshirt in a Fragrance” bottles with their alligator shirt embem. Note the fabric texture on the sides of the bottle. (See also: Package as Clothing)

Lacoste-bottles

My earliest memory of an embroidered alligator emblem was when my mother in the late 1950s or early 1960s created some counterfeit Lacoste shirts for my grandfather, my father, me & my little brother. This was motivated more by the alligator than the brand status, I think, since we lived in south Florida, not so far from the Everglades. (See also: Crocodile Boxes—Alligator Bags)

Still, my mother must have been aware that the Lacaoste alligator emblem was a self-proclaimed “status symbol.”

René Lacoste founded La Chemise Lacoste in 1933 with André Gillier, the owner and president of the largest French knitwear manufacturing firm at the time. They began to produce the revolutionary tennis shirt Lacoste had designed and worn on the tennis courts with the crocodile logo embroidered on the chest. Although the company claims this as the first example of a brand name appearing on the outside of an article of clothing, the “Jantzen girl” logo appeared on the outside of Jantzen Knitting Mills’ swimsuits as early as 1921. In addition to tennis shirts, Lacoste produced shirts for golf and sailing. In 1951, the company began to expand as it branched from “tennis white” and introduced color shirts. In 1952, the shirts were exported to the United States and advertised as “the status symbol of the competent sportsman,” influencing the clothing choices of the upper-class. Lacoste was sold at Brooks Brothers until the late 1960’s. It is still one of the most popular brands in the United States, sporting the “preppy wardrobe”.

from Wikipedia’s entry on history of Lacoste

Invariably, when packaging serves as a metaphor for clothing, a consumer naturally tends to anthopomorphize and even identify with the product contained.

(The advertising, after the fold…)

Lacoste-ad

The bottles under the shirts look sort of pocket-like, positioned as they are, beneath the embroidered logo, although this kind of shirt doesn’t really have pockets. Maybe the telltale shape is more like a beating, bottle-shaped heart.

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

One Response to “Bottles with Embroidered Shirt Labels”

  1. Dan Lewis says:

    Interesting but why are all of the alligators different?