What is LACOSTE LA MACHINE L.12.12? The story began in 1927 when tennis legend René Lacoste designed the L.12.12 polo shirt, with its distinctive breathable petit piqué fabric and crocodile logo. Fast-forward to 2011, Monsieur Lacoste’s creation is stronger than ever and I find myself at Grand Central Terminal in New York City. The reason; LA MACHINE L.12.12.

The brief for the event suggested LA MACHINE L.12.12 would transform the iconic L.12.12 polo shirt into a fragrance. You may have seen the very cool LACOSTE adverts where a polo shirt is continually folded until it turns into a fragrance bottle of EAU DE LACOSTE L.12.12. Well, LA MACHINE L.12.12 takes this one step further. The LA MACHINE L.12.12 installation was created from scratch by Tronic, a renowned New York design studio and shows the production sequence of the L.12.12 polo shirt transformed into an EAU DE LACOSTE L.12.12 bottle, both mechanically and virtually:


An actual polo is inserted into LA MACHINE L.12.12 and an actual bottle appears!


Video sequences are created on LA MACHINE L.12.12 using user generated content (UGC) with each video having a common theme; the transformation of the LACOSTE polo shirt into a fragrance.

I contributed to the virtual transformation myself. I was 1 of 35,000 who were lucky enough to be part of this iconic and never seen before method of capturing the public’s imagination and quite frankly, clever piece of marketing. To be part of LA MACHINE L.12.12 I had to choose, prior to the event, a series of options to make up my “20 seconds of fame” video, to be showed at the event (see video below).

Max Minghella at Grand Central Terminal, NYC for LA MACHINE L.12.12

Grand Central Terminal itself is an exceptional venue, one of the most stunning buildings in Manhattan and incredibly still a fully functioning rail and subway station – the heartbeat of Manhattan. LA MACHINE L.12.12 was housed in all its scaly, Crocodile shaped glory in the Vanderbilt Hall, a room just off the main thoroughfare. Guests were treated to various speeches, dancing, a performance by GrandMaster Flash and The Furious Five, the opportunity to meet Max Minghella (of The Social Network fame) and the unveiling of LA MACHINE L.12.12. Despite their being 35,000 videos, incredibly mine was displayed during the evening – very pleasing. It can be seen below.

The purpose of LA MACHINE L.12.12 was to introduce the US to Lacoste’s latest fragrance collection; EAU DE LACOSTE L.12.12 – a collection of 3 distinctive LACOSTE fragrances.

Photo taken at my hotel, the Mondrian in SoHo.

Blanc Edition

Blanc Edition blends a crisp, fresh top note of grapefruit, with natural tuberose, ylang ylang and masculine cedarwood with the tenacious staying power of vetiver.

Bleu Edition

Bleu Edition is powerful and fresh, thanks to the citrusy grapefruit and cool aquatic notes of peppermint and watery fruits.

Vert Edition

Vert Edition has a fresh, relaxed greenness courtesy of violet leaf, fig, thyme and bamboo grass.

LA MACHINE L.12.12 crosses advertising boundaries with it’s revolutionary Tronic and UGC created Crocodile. Not only this but in some clever way the video content captures the free, sporty and audacious spirit of René Lacoste himself, all of which has been cleverly adapted for the EAU DE LACOSTE L.12.12 collection. A fitting tribute to a tennis legend.