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Fashionistas celebrate at Costume Designers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills

Lacoste Foundation president Beryl Lacoste- Hamilton at the Costume Designers Guild Awards on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Lacoste Foundation president Beryl Lacoste-Hamilton at the Costume Designers Guild Awards on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Fashion royalty graced the Beverly Hilton on Feb. 17 as the fashion industry celebrated the 17th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards (CDGA) in style.

Beryl Lacoste Hamilton, the granddaughter of legendary tennis player and fashion designer icon Rene Lacoste, represented the Lacoste empire at the awards ceremony as the president of the Lacoste Foundation.

As the presenting sponsor for the fifth consecutive year, Lacoste has been consistently supporting the CDGA. This year, the brand introduced the launch of the LT12 tennis racket as well as its limited-edition capsule collection at the CDGA. Hamilton spoke to Westside Today about Lacoste’s relationship with the annual costume designers awards as well as the history behind the new product launch.

“Tennis has always been in our DNA and is a part of our roots,” Hamilton explained. “My grandfather, who was a world-champion tennis player, created a high-quality tennis shirt. We’ve always had tennis and golf products: the two sports have been a huge part of our development.”

The signature Lacoste tennis shirt, which transitioned the typical long-collared shirt to a short-sleeved, cotton pique polo, would serve as the cornerstone of a soon-to-be world-famous luxury fashion brand. Nicknamed “le Crocodile” on the tennis courts, Lacoste effectively translated his athletic identity onto his clothing as the brand has long been recognized through the crocodile logo embroidered on its apparel.

Rene Lacoste also enjoyed the game of golf along with his wife, Simone Thion de La Chaume, who was a golf champion.

“Tennis and golf have been our two axes and gives us much legitimacy,” Hamilton said. “We sponsor tennis and golf players and have special collaborations.”

Hamilton said that because tennis was such a “gentlemen’s sport in the elegant era of the Roaring 20’s,” the players would come meticulously dressed to the games.

“My grandfather paid the same amount of attention to his clothing as he did to his tennis game,” Hamilton said.

After the prominence of the logo grew in fame – even President Eisenhower was seen wearing the novel Lacoste shirt on magazine covers – the brand was soon deemed as haute couture.

It is no wonder, then, that decades later, Hamilton is continuing on the family legacy in part by supporting those who contribute to the beauty of fashion design.

“We’ve had a long-time relationship with the CDGAs,” Hamilton said in regards to the local awards ceremony. “Lacoste has had ten years’ attendance, with the last five years as presenting sponsor. I have personally attended for the past three years and have started to make friends with some of the costume designers.”

Hamilton conveyed her sincere interest and investment in the CDGA as she pulled out the notes she took during the ceremony, expressing her respect for the winners and nominees and even quoting a line she enjoyed from Harrison Ford’s speech.

“We love to show our support to this industry,” Hamilton said. “The shows always have an amazing group of people, an incredible crowd with amazing technical expertise. It was humbling to listen to the experiences of the nominees. I love the sense of camaraderie that is present every year.”

LACOSTE also presents a special Spotlight award to actresses who have made notable accomplishments in featuring the work of costume designers. According to Hamilton, Naomi Watts was chosen this year due to her “timeless beauty” and “body of wide and varied works.”

Hamilton said that Lacoste also invites students from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) to further encourage creative innovation and support the younger generations of designers.

“The CDGAs present a great way to exchange talent,” Hamilton said. “There are lots of lessons to be learned from each other.”

Lacoste’s new LT12 tennis racket and capsule collection were featured in the Lacoste Lounge at the CDGA and are set to be revealed to the public on March 23 at the Miami Open. While the racket will have a general release, the collection of innovative capsules will have a limited release. Beverly Hills’ own Rodeo Drive will be one of the 10 locations selected to carry the limited-edition products.

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