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Peter Saville Creates Lacoste Limited-Edition Series

The graphic designer eschewed the crocodile for his one-off shirts celebrating the brand's 80th anniversary.

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One of the polo shirts in the collection

One of the polo shirts in the collection

Photo By Stéphane Feugère

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NO LOGO: Asked to create Lacoste's Holiday Collector limited-edition series for the brand's 80th anniversary, Peter Saville said he was "surprised" that the label accepted his proposition.

The graphic designer has created a series of unique polo shirts for Lacoste — 80 for men, 80 for women — on which the brand's iconic crocodile logo is replaced by green embroidery in various forms, from erratic squiggles to a rough outline suggesting the animal's absence, instead of its presence.

"They still look like Lacoste shirts even if they don’t have a crocodile on them," said Saville, who also, as reported, created a special edition of the brand's logo for its anniversary.  "It's about requisitioning the mainstream to translate an idea that is not about selling."

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"There was a sharp intake of breath when I showed executives the idea," he laughed. "It challenges all the rules of brand culture. [But] they’ve done it, and they’ve put full resources behind it."

Saville's creations for Lacoste were shown like a museum installation at an event in Paris Thursday evening, with each white shirt having its place in rows of glass presentation cases under the glass roof of L'Atrium event space on the Rue Saint-Honoré.

"This type of exercise is always difficult, and I find Peter's response very elegant," said Michaël Amzalag, one half of design duo M/M, at the cocktail.

The 160 shirts, all in size 4, will go on sale starting Nov. 15 at leading concept stores around the world, priced at 420 euros, or $547 at current exchange.

A more extensive commercial edition, in eight versions each for men and for women, will also be produced and sold in Lacoste’s regular distribution, priced 140 euros, or $182.