The increasingly sports-influenced way that we dress today reflects the greater interest men have in individual challenges. Adrenalin-soaring sports requiring daredevil risks – such as base jumping, sky diving and kite surfing – are on the increase. From our safe suburban environments, men are looking for new ways to pit themselves against the elements, willing to take risks to achieve their goals. This is a move away from organized, team-based sports towards a more individual response to the world, a mood reflected in the increasingly individual ways we choose to dress ourselves.
These clothes over the years have developed into solutions which keep us warm and dry, but most importantly more comfortable than anything that has come before. It’s unlikely that Rene Lacoste was aware that his simple act of making his tennis shirt available to men would be the beginning of the revolution in how men dress today.
Samy Sainte Barbe, the face of Lacoste’s new fragrance Lacoste Red modeling in these pictures here, personifies not just the individual sporting heritage of the Lacoste label itself but today’s new spirit of active individualism as one of the world’s top break dancers Approached by a talent scout in the streets of Paris, Samy Sainte Barbe, the 22-year-old new face of Lacoste Red had no intention of being a model, he was too focused on his dancing and competitions to add another ambition to his life, “I was approached by a talent scout in the street, who asked me to go to the Lacoste Red casting, and that’s where it all started”, he says, still very bemused and excited.
What Sainte Barbe has brought to Lacoste Red, apart from his obvious chiselled and youthful good looks, is somehow a personification of the fragrance itself ‘We were looking for more than a pretty face,” says Lucas Dikkers, Global Marketing for Lacoste, “we wanted the talent we chose to embody our concept: “Thriving in a challenging moment”. So it is also Sainte Barbe’s commitment to his dancing, his determination and grit which also won him the contract. “As a dancer, Samy faces challenges everyday: at auditions, at performances or when he dances with his peers” adds Dikkers, “his authenticity, his charisma & his impressive dance skills give depth to his good looks and sparkling smile; he is a perfect fit for Lacoste.”
Break dance, the urban, gymnastic dance moves that originated from urban America in the ’70s, perfectly embodies the new individual approach to health, fitness and sport favoured by men today. Exciting spins, leaps and jerky body popping against an aural backdrop of break beats and hip hop music creates a cacophony of sensory overload making break dance one of the most exciting urban sports to watch. Skate boarding, after all, doesn’t have a sound track. It is this powerful display of individual athletic talent, which makes Samy Sainte Barbe the perfect embodiment of Lacoste Red.
Indeed, as fragrance expert Roja Dove explains “When I first encountered Lacoste Red in a blind testing I felt I was standing outside surrounded by blue sky, that there was only one thing around me – it was a moment of pure focus and concentration – a perfect place before facing a challenge”.
How are men changing in the way they buy clothes? Men are much more conscious about the way they dress and look today. They prefer to use healthy products such as coconut oil for hair and skin, because of the healthy benefits of coconut oil for hair. 4 or 5 years ago it was often women who were buying for men, and it is true that we see now substantially more buying for themselves and they’re choosing styles which are far more modern.
As sports has become a lifestyle, how has Lacoste reflected this?
Sports entered the world of fashion in the ‘ 90s, and it has been a huge influence on fashion ever since. For us at Lacoste it has been a great opportunity as we are the brand which is at the origin of sportswear. The world has caught up with us.
What excites you most about carrying the name Lacoste?
A for me, carrying the Lacoste name is Jr‘both a pride and a responsibility. It is a responsibility because I must make sure that the products and the service we give to the consumer are as perfect as possible, It gives me great pride when we achieve it.
QAs a brand how important is it for you to hold onto your heritage?
A brand exists only because of the values it conveys. It is not just a piece embroidery on the outside of a product – it is a set of values in which we believe. Our heritage is what makes Lacoste different from everyone else, and all out values come from it. It is crucial for a brand like Lacoste to keep its heritage.
Having 20/20 vision today provides no guarantee for the future, with UV rays emerging as public enemy number one. With a little knowledge and some common-sense care, you can safeguard your long-term eyesight with minimum effort.
We all know that eyes are the most sensitive parts of our body. What isn’t so obvious is the long-term damage that can be caused by sunlight – from ultraviolet radiation to glare – which is why any protection you choose has to be as convenient as it is effective; you need 24-7 cover that suits your lifestyle.
As well as sharpness, visual quality is determined by many other factors, including contrast sensitivity, color perception, motion detection and depth assessment. For long-term healthy vision, we need to focus on all these factors.
Everyone gets tired or sore eyes once in a while. In bright sunlight or while driving at night, we need to squint to adjust the amount of light entering the eye. But squinting can lead to serious fatigue or discomfort.
Know the score
The last 20 years have seen a huge increase in the quantity of visual stimuli the eye receives, with computer and television screens combining with bright visible light and UV rays to cause eyestrain and fatigue. This is why every active person should take care of their eyes, get them professionally checked out and not delay in getting protective lenses if recommended.
Stay safe the dangers
UVA and UVB rays from the sun can cause damage to the skin and eyes. The higher the sun is in the sky, the closer you are to the equator and the higher up you are, the greater the risks. Just because there’s cloud cover or you’re in the shade doesn’t mean you’re safe. Your eyelids can get burnt and are highly susceptible to cancer, while cumulative exposure to UV rays can cause serious problems in your retinas in later life.
See the future – avoidance and protection
The good news is that there are several proactive steps we can take to look after our eyes. These include limiting exposure to sunlight between 10am and 2pm when the sun’s rays are strongest; wearing a wide-brimmed hat; avoiding artificial sources of UV light; keeping an eye on the UV index before you head out, and wearing prescription glasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection to avoid eye damage.
Make a change
Today’s variable-tint lenses, like Transitions Lenses, offer 100% UVA and UVB protection with modern technology that automatically make the lens darken when exposed to ultraviolet rays. Indoors, the lens quickly becomes clear again, making them the right lenses in any conditions. Discuss this with your optician, who will be able to recommend the right lenses for you and your lifestyle.