Throughout 2020 and 2021, Lacoste’s Louise Trotter has been biking to her office. She estimates it’s about a 25-minute cycle from home to studio across Paris, traffic and weather depending. Her spring 2022 collection is, in many ways, born of this habit. The sporty, lively silhouettes are “what I’ve seen” along the ride, she tells me over FaceTime, borrowed from other bikers, messengers, and the people she passed on the street.
It’s just another way Trotter has been paying attention to what’s going on in the world around her. Her collection reflects the contemporary urge to get out and move again, with rubber versions of classic tennis skirts, slim neoprene bandeaus, perforated anoraks, and a new neoprene piqué material that translates the Lacoste heritage into sleek pieces for a new generation. One of her most genius innovations: A trench coat that rolls up into a messenger bag. “On my bike, I can’t deal with long coats!” Trotter says, smiling. She’s also expanded into other sports, hoping to create a sense of community around Lacoste: “We have a basketball look, the diving girl—and the diving instructor with shorts and button up—and a skater girl…” she says, running through images of her line-up. The overall look is unfussy, lively, and spirited—it is not trendy, but that doesn’t seem to matter much. Good product will outlast Hot Girl Summer.
And product is king. Instagram might be down on the day of our chat, but the designer usually receives five to six messages a day from friends and strangers looking for archival and new Lacoste pieces. A most-requested piece is a V-neck tennis sweater from her first collection for the brand, hand embroidered with a fringy little alligator on the check. This season, he’s back, and he’s an unmissable shade of neon yellow. “Sort of how we feel now,” Trotter says of the character: wanting to be seen, a little shaggy, and ready to get out there with teammates. Her show in the Palais de Tokyo pool, I’m sure, will look, sound, and smell like team spirit.