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In the Showroom: Lacoste

Lacoste is in the midst of a fashion footwear facelift. Rather than building a line that offer something for every trend, retailer and consumer, the heritage tennis brand has brought on a new London-based design team for its women’s footwear line to hone in on styles are that ring true to its sport heritage.

As a result, the women’s product range has been nipped in by about 25 percent, but what Lacoste lacks in SKUs, it more than makes up for with new, refined silhouettes, materials and sleek minimal branding.

Fall ’15 could not be a better season for a brand that cut its footwear teeth in athletic footwear to revisit its roots. With demand for premium street sneakers high, Lacoste is focusing on classic runners and sneakers in both its Lacoste and more youthful Lacoste Live lines. Retro runners are supped up with buttery soft leathers in sophisticated shades of camel, navy, gray and burgundy and are accented with tone-on-tone eyelets and laces. Smooth textures and rich autumnal hues are carried into a range of skate-inspired sneakers embellished only with a monochromatic crocodile emblem on the side.

Lacoste Live adds texture to its range of runners by mashing suede panels with tweed-like materials. A similar tweed texture reappears on slim-soled sneaker with a white cap toe. For a bolder look, Plimsoll-inspired silhouettes are amped up with chunky white platform soles. Prints come into play with slip-on sneakers in burgundy and navy with yachting stripes, as well as a deconstructed camouflage pattern inspired by one once used on French war ships.

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On the dressier end, solid color ballet flats with seven layers of cushioning offer an easy work-to-weekend option. Patent lace-ups with monochromatic cap toe details are a snappy man-tailored alternative, available in glossy blue, black and burgundy.

Lacoste is also expanding its women’s boot range, with both wedge and flat shapes. The brand is making its biggest boot statement with a collection of suede and leather Chelsea boots with an equestrian feel. A collection standout is a blue suede ankle boot with barely-there branded hardware on the side. Tall versions are also available. For winter wear, waterproof styles lined with shearling take on a hiker look with wax-coated laces and subtle lug soles.

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That outdoor vibe is extended to the men’s footwear range with Lacoste’s first work/hiker boot in traditional tan, as well as burgundy and navy. Moc toe boots with slim shark outsoles and boat shoe side lacing offer a preppier look, as well as the corresponding boat shoes done up in color blocks of cream, navy and dark green. Updated driving mocs with a more outdoor-appropriate tread, and suede and leather lace-ups round out Lacoste’s traditional men’s offering.

“Less is more” is echoed throughout the brand’s slip-on sneaker selection for men, which pair basic white bottoms with plain white and black leather uppers. Sportier styles, including leather hi-tops with a puffed collar, basketball-inspired sneakers and street-friendly suede kicks, stick to the fall line’s moody and monochromatic color palette.