Street style photographer Julien Boudet has unbelievable swag. Or maybe it is allure. Whatever it is, it is hard not to be enamored with the Parisian. Part of Boudet’s draw is his sense of style, which is anchored in an artful mélange of vintage sportswear. Fellow photographers have taken note and captured Boudet at Fashion Week dressed in a barrage of vintage Lacoste. That particular look led him to curate a reedition of the French brand’s most iconic tracksuits and sweaters, which launches on June 25 on the label’s website. Boudet chose a delicious offering of personal favorites from the late ’90s, including head-turning tracksuits in blues and greens with retro striping and chic pale zaddy-style sweaters.
Boudet, also known as @bleumode, has a long history with Lacoste and its crocodile insignia—beginning with his childhood in the seaside city of Sète, in the South of France. “There was no luxury or fashion where I am from. Wearing a Lacoste tracksuit meant a lot for us: It meant that you made it and you have enough money to spend a thousand francs, or 150 euros now, on a tracksuit,” says Boudet. “For us, it was a real luxury. People were fighting to get the caps, and you’d get robbed on the street for an original Lacoste cap that would cost about 60 euros now.” He bought his first Lacoste piece, a white-and-green windbreaker, from a friend in 1998 because it was the most affordable option. “[Lacoste] would not sell the top without the pants,” says Boudet. “The top was the best piece to have because you could wear it with the matching pants but also with blue denim jeans, which was very popular back then.”
Boudet, who has a wealth of knowledge about the history of Lacoste garb, rereleased pieces from what he deems the “golden era” of the brand’s tracksuits, specifically from 1996 and 2000. The collection includes the limited-edition French Open pieces that have been released every year since 1971 to celebrate the tournament. Also in the mix is a sweater with yellow, red, and blue stripes, as well as a tracksuit that French tennis player Fabrice Santoro wore to the 1998 French Open. “It was the best colorway and design,” says Boudet.
Boudet photographed the look book in his hometown of Sète, with some of his friends who he grew up with as models (including Lucas Omiri, brother of the French rap duo PNL). A heartwarming touch here: One wears the reedition of Boudet’s first Lacoste piece.