L!VE caught up with Fred Verdier, Design Manager at Lacoste L!VE for an exclusive, behind the scenes interview about this season’s collection and what makes the design studio tick.

What is Lacoste L!VE and what’s it all about?

Lacoste L!VE is a standalone brand. It’s not a sub-brand or sister brand but a brand in its own right, with its own identity and culture. Like Lacoste Sportswear, it’s inspired by the heritage of Lacoste, but takes a new view of things.

Why was it created?

To respond to a new young and demanding clientele that was emerging and to simply make the brand more youthful.

Do you see Lacoste L!VE as an extension of the brand’s heritage?

To an extent, yes. We like to have a fresh take on the crocodile, and play with the codes of the brand whilst respecting them – namely humour, colour and sport. We always keep a sporty silhouette, and we stay true to heritage materials like maille piqué. It’s our thing!

Do you feel that you’re moving the brand forward?

We like to test many new things in terms of style and techniques. In terms of spirit, we try to pioneer like Renée Lacoste did. This way, we’re simply evolving the mentality.

What inspires you?

The heritage of the brand more than anything. We like to dig in the archives and rediscover classics. This is extremely inspiring in itself, there’s so much to work with! It might be in Renée Lacoste’s story or in the people who wore the brand. Elsewhere, ideas come from a music, ethnic or graphic background. Anything that’s interesting basically. Nevertheless, we always try to tell a story through what we create. Anything can be inspiring, it just depends on your angle.

What’s the creative process at Lacoste L!VE?

It’s very image-based. We research like investigative journalists. We go to musuems, and trawl films and the internet to find that perfect story to tell through the brand.

What would you say is Lacoste L!VE’s audience?

If I had to define a demographic, I would say young urban types between the ages of 18 – 30. In reality though, I’d say people who are interested in what we’re interested in. People with personality.

What makes the brand relevant today?

It’s for young people, by young people. We call on the best emerging and established talent. We don’t imitate. We are what we do and vice versa. We live and breathe what we create everyday. It’s not made up, it’s just us.

How does it differ from other brands out there?

We’re authentic and true to ourselves. We’re not really dictated by the market. We move with our interests. We’re motivated by feeding the legend of Lacoste every season so there’s a sense of continuation, despite the reinvention.

Would you say the brand is more than a brand?

It’s a culture, as much as a brand. We work with people with a similar mindset and with similar interests. So it’s perhaps a lifestyle too. When we’re working, we like to think that we’re creating the archives of tomorrow. Where we’re heading with exhibitions and one-off events also means that the brand is expanding into a more experiential territory, which is exciting for everyone involved.