The shirts feature an applied plastic crocodile-skin pattern, referencing Lacoste's crocodile logo.
Young, who was born in the UK but is now based in Hong Kong, is the product second designer appointed by Lacoste as part of its Holiday Collector's Series. Last year, Tom Dixon created two designs called Techno Polo and Eco Polo.
Below is a press release from Lacoste:
LACOSTE LAUNCHES ‘PLASTIC POLO’ BY MICHAEL YOUNG
This unique collaboration with Michael Young is the second in the LACOSTE Holiday Collector’s Series, whereby the brand selects each year a designer outside the fashion world to ‘reinterpret’ its iconic polo shirt and to challenge its production methods and processes.
Michael Young has been amongst the most successful and influential designers of his generation. In 1992 his early ‘Woven’ steel works were acquired by Centre Pompidou and the Louvre. His ‘Mid Nineties’ collection of furnishings for E&Y in Tokyo was purchased by Die Neue Sammlung Museum Germany and the Design Museum London and was said to have created a new formal language in furniture design. In 1995 he created MY-022 Ltd design office in London, where he focused on projects such as the Eurolounge Sticklight and the Magis Dog House. Terence Conran selected Young in 1997 as his most inspiring British designer. Young is presently based in Hong Kong, where he has finished a new bicycle for Giant, barware for Schweppes Tonic and a line of jewelry for Georg Jensen.
Plastic has always been a favorite material of Young, and for LACOSTE he wanted to experiment with combining plastics and fabrics to create a fresh, futuristic polo that reflects the heritage of the brand. ‘Years ago I discovered these colourful gardening gloves in Japan that had a latex coating and started collecting them, but until now I never found any use for them,’ Young explains. ‘When I began working on the LACOSTE project, I knew I had found my chance to explore this technique.’ And thus the PLASTIC POLO was born.
Young has designed a polo with a crocodile skin pattern that literally swims up the front and around the back of the shirt. Instead of a standard silk-screen printing process, the heat-activated ink is applied directly to the piqué cotton and then is‘baked’ causing it to blister and become the thick, plastic fake croc skin itself. The PLASTIC POLO is available in seven colours for men and women and comes packaged in a re-sealable plastic tray that can find new life as a storage unit or serving plate. It will be available at LACOSTE flagships and corners from November.
Young has also designed a super limited edition called the PLASTIC POLO +, where the croc skin print is covered with a metallic leaf film and pressed with a hot iron, leaving a distressed, vintage feel to the skin. The PLASTIC POLO+ is available for men and women in a limited edition of 1000 each in two colour combinations: silver on black and gold on white. It comes packaged in a re-sealable metallic black plastic tray and will be available from October at multibrand shops such as Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Isetan in Tokyo.