In 1987 when Franck Mesnel dreamed up the idea of creating a rugby-inspired ready-to-wear brand that reflected the style of French high living, the name Eden Park and the pink bowtie logo were natural choices. Mesnel had just played a World Cup final on the legendary pitch in Auckland and during the 1986-87 season, the pink bowtie had become Racing’s hallmark of success on the French fields.

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In 1987 France took the rugby world by surprise when it triumphed over Australia in the Sydney semi-finals to earn a place in the World Cup final against New Zealand. For Mesnel and his teammates, just getting to that stage, and beating the Australian favourites in the semi-finals, was already an achievement akin to conquering Everest. Despite a late successful try, they were defeated 29-9 by the magnificent All Blacks. Franck Mesnel played in that final – carrying a pink bowtie in his pocket.