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When tennis becomes fashion: the new DNA of Lacoste

The brand's heritage as told by Sick Luke and Marina

When tennis becomes fashion: the new DNA of Lacoste  The brand's heritage as told by Sick Luke and Marina

Who said Lacoste only means polo shirts? The crocodile brand, born in 1933 thanks to René Lacoste, has its heritage in the world of tennis. That's where the inspiration for the L001 came from, the brand's new trainers born from the legacy of the René, the first shoes designed by Lacoste's founder, and a racket dating back to the 1980s. With a minimal and modern silhouette, the L001 is a tribute to the recognisable motifs of more classic sportswear that have always distinguished the brand's aesthetic. An aesthetic that is also visible and recognisable in the L002, court sneakers created specifically for Lacoste's female audience, characterised by a clean and elegant aesthetic reinterpreted in a contemporary key with a chunky silhouette featuring a wide midsole that transforms its sporty DNA.

To talk about its new trainers, Lacoste chose Sick Luke and Marina, two of the most important names on the Italian rap scene and always a tastemaker capable of combining fashion and music. We spoke with them about their aesthetic and musical evolutions, their careers and the now symbiotic relationship between the music and fashion industries.

Luca you have been around for almost ten years, how much has your style changed over time and what are your main stylistic references?

I started producing when I was 13, just sampling. Only later, at around 18, did I start playing with plug-ins. Lately though, I've been coming back to sampling to vary the sound a bit and find new inspirations. Among my reference points, of course, is Kanye.

Let's talk about trainers. Lately, their golden age seems to be over, at least as it was understood a few years ago. What is your relationship with trainers? Do you wear them less than before?

Luke: I've never been a sneakerhead, but in the last period I've noticed that all that slightly crazy wave that was there before has diminished a bit. People are starting to realise that it's pointless to spend so much money on resell trainers that are forgotten after a few months in favour of others. Personally, I try to take only what I like and what I would wear the most.

Marina: It's obvious that the golden age of trainers is over but I've started wearing them now. Before I tended to prefer alternative shoes like New Rock, Buffalo and Swear London, I have grown up and along with me my looks. Now I prefer trainers.

The protagonist of the photos is also Monti. What links you to this neighbourhood?

Luke: Although I didn't grow up in Rione Monti, from 2014 to 2018 it was the neighbourhood in Rome that influenced me and my group, the Dark Polo Gang. I still remember that in those years, before going to the studio, we would always take a walk around the square, before moving on to Wayne's house, the Dark House, and then go and record in my garage in Garbatella. Good memories. 

Marina: Monti, besides being in my opinion one of the most beautiful and historical neighbourhoods of Rome, reminds me of perhaps the most carefree period of my life. I spent my 20s and 24s hanging around the neighbourhood until late at night with the cool kids of the time.

Marina, in recent years the Italian rap scene has seen several female names take the space they deserve. Do you think things have actually changed?

The scene has changed and women have taken over, inevitably. In 2016 for example everything was very different, the relationship between women and the music industry was different, most girls aspired to a deejay role or similar not a solo rap/trap/hiphop career etc. I find this to be quite an achievement.

It has been several years since the explosion of trap and its heyday. How much has the Italian rap scene changed and for Luke how much has the way of making music changed?

Luke: I'll answer for me. Music is constantly evolving and the most important thing in my opinion is to have a nice open mind without being closed. When trap first exploded, a lot of people criticised it thinking it would die within a month. In the end we changed the rules of the Italian music industry. You never know what's going to happen, you have to have your eyes wide open to understand the next wave. Then I always had this passion of believing in artists before the actual explosion.

It is now common practice to see foreign rappers featuring Italian rappers. Has the Italian scene actually moved closer to the American scene? If not, what is missing?

Luke: I'm now in Los Angeles and when I say my name or that of some of my Italian colleagues the answer is always 'Ah those I know' or 'I've already heard those'. We are getting closer to the foreign market, but there is always something missing to fill the language gap. DJs or artists who sing in English and Spanish manage to get out much more easily, the others struggle more.

What does it mean to be a couple also in professional life?

Luke and Marina: Being a couple and working together might have been a problem in the beginning, now it's a plus. Knowing each other well is definitely a plus, while working time has never been a real problem for personal needs or simply for life as a couple. In any case, we always put our romantic relationship first and our work relationship second.

Talents: Marïna - Sick Luke     
Photographer: Camillo Pasquarelli   
Photographer Assistant: Andrea Marcantonio
MUA: Cinzia Trifiletti   
MUA Assistant: Caterina Camera   
Art Director: Alessandro Bigi       
Editorial Coordinators: Elisa Ambrosetti - Edoardo Lasala    
Production: nss factory