Back in 2015, Lacoste collaborated with Lesage on a high fashion line and reached out to Yaz Bukey to create fun, irreverent accessories to accompany the clothes. Her work certainly struck a chord with the heritage sports brand, and this week, it released a new capsule collection with the designer featuring her classic tongue-in-cheek approach to iconography.
“When we first collaborated with Lacoste, it was within a project made with The Reality Show,” Bukey said of the presentation of the first collection, which was released at the same time as the Tiffany Godoy-helmed magazine. “They created a line of couture t-shirts with the embroiderer Lesage. We embellished some looks with embroidery mixed with Yazbukey plexiglass. The project went great and automatically we thought with Felipe [Oliveira Baptista, creative director of Lacoste] that we should do a larger collaboration.”
And thus the new collection of men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes and accessories was born, this time featuring three “emoticon” versions of tennis balls.
The balls each have a character that interacts with Bukey’s take on Lacoste’s crocodile: one is shy, one is flirty (featuring Yazbukey’s famed red lips), and the third is simply “handsome.” The crocodile is amorous with them all.
“I’m a storyteller. I wanted to create the adventures of the iconic Lacoste crocodile on a tennis court,” she explained. “I decided to design personalized tennis balls, one is madly in love with the crocodile, the other one is scared to be bitten by him, and the third one doesn’t care—he prefers to play with tennis rackets!”
The campaign for the series is equally irreverent, featuring gifs and images shot by frequent Yazbukey collaborators, photography team Tania and Vincent.
It’s a refreshing change from most athleticwear, which tends to err on the conservative side, at least thematically speaking. “I would love to collaborate with a fitness/sports brand. I exercise myself and sports are part of my life. I think when you know the needs you have shape-wise, you can embellish the garment in a subtle way,” Bukey said of possibly branching out. “That’s the way I proceeded with Lacoste. We entered the brands DNA in order to create something coherent.” Injecting a bit of humor into the clothes and accessories might not help one’s tennis skills, but at least you’ll prove to be a good (looking) sport.
The collection is available now in-store and online at Colette, and will be available at Lacoste stores internationally in April.