“Elegance, tradition, legacy. Those words describe what Lacoste stands for the most in my eyes,” said tennis champ and Lacoste ambassador Novak Djokovic, who was in Beverly Hills Tuesday night to help the brand celebrate the reopening of its Rodeo Drive store. The boutique won’t be open until Nov. 16, so the party took place on the tennis court of the Sheats Goldstein residence, one of the most scenic private courts in Beverly Hills.
As the city lights glittered below, Djokovic explained why he’s a fan of the brand. “Rene Lacoste, the founder, was a tennis player and he invented the polo shirt. I find many similarities between Lacoste’s philosophy of life and my own. That’s something very important for me because I like to know who I am partnering with and understand their values and whether they are coherent with my own.”
Djokovic said that when he signed on with the brand, “I started to pay even more attention to what people wear and I did a little experiment to see how many polos around the world I was seeing. It seems there’s an unbelievable amount and it goes across all the levels of society.”
Paltrow said her fondness for the brand dates back to the Eighties. “Lacoste is, like, my first brand. When I first understood when you are aspiring to a brand, to wear that logo in 1983 in L.A., it was Lacoste. And there’s the Margot Tenenbaum character,” she added of her memorable costume in “The Royal Tenenbaums.” “I’ve had several Lacoste moments.”
Matt Bomer agreed. “Rene was onto something when he came out with that shirt. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a fond memory. I think the most specific memory I have of the brand is that the night I met my husband he was wearing a navy Lacoste shirt,” he said. “I’m such a sentimentalist that I saved that shirt.”
Throughout the evening, guests took turns playing pickleball, a hybrid of badminton, tennis and table tennis. The highlight was Djokovic, who teamed with singer Robbie Williams. They proved to be effective doubles partners, natch, and bested their challengers while onlookers cheered.
“This town brings such a diverse energy,” said Djokovic. “You have it all, really. I’m all about healthy lifestyle and creativity and innovation and free spirit and I see there’s a lot of that here. And the tennis culture is quite outstanding.”