Athletes Seek Fashion in Lacoste, Baptista Delivers

Fashion show attendees always hold their breath when a runway begins with stairs. But designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s latest creations are so effortless and easy that no model broke their strut down the catwalk. 

Perhaps it’s the presence of the US Open in the summertime that made his choice of comfortable fabrics so smart and his choice of prints so literal and visually stimulating. Tennis champion and brand founder Rene Lacoste would be proud.

Lacoste is the brand of choice for many athletes, as evidenced by attendees Kris Humphries, Gustavo Kuerten and Russell Westbrook. But veering off its usual aesthetic of preppy chic, the collection was refreshing and unexpected.

As evidenced by countless runways this season, spring and summer are all about loose-fitting pants for women, architectural woven tees for men, and universal parkas for everyone. But with the imaginative tennis-inspired prints (there’s even one with a tennis court and mini umpire’s chair), unique silhouettes (parkas as floaty capes), and manipulating of fabrics (cute alligator-logo-embossed leather) there's no mistaking these pieces for any other brand.

Of course there was your traditionally Lacoste polo dress and shirt dress too. But with a genius branding tool like a print that’s actually Lacoste polos all over—equipped with teeny alligator emblem and all—even the staples could be described as unconventional.  

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