Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer

American socialite and famous fashion designer
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Lilly Pulitzer
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. Entrepreneurship and Success
  4. Later Life and Legacy

Biography of Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer, an American socialite and renowned fashion designer, revolutionized the fashion industry during the 1960s and 1970s with her line of clothing. Her boutiques adorned the favorite vacation spots of the elite, and her signature pink and green dresses became synonymous with a luxurious lifestyle.

Lilly Pulitzer

Early Life and Career

Lilly was born into a prominent family in Roslyn, New York. She was the middle child among three sisters and was often referred to as Lilly Lee by her friends. After dropping out of school six months before graduation, Lilly found work as a midwife's assistant in West Virginia and later volunteered at a veterans hospital in the Bronx.

Lilly Pulitzer

In 1950, Lilly eloped with Peter Pulitzer, the grandson of publisher Joseph Pulitzer, and settled in Palm Beach, Florida. They lived a bohemian lifestyle, hosting parties and strolling barefoot along Worth Avenue. The couple raised three children together: Peter, Lisa, and Minnie.

Lilly Pulitzer

During this time, Peter owned several citrus groves in Florida, and Lilly decided to set up a juice stand on Via Mizner. While the business was profitable, squeezing lemons, oranges, and limes often left stains on Lilly's clothes. To solve this problem, she asked her tailor to create a special dress that would hide any stains. The result was the "Classic Shift," the first model of the "Lillys" brand.

Entrepreneurship and Success

Customers who bought Lilly's juice were captivated by her dress, and soon people started asking if she had any extra dresses for sale. She began preparing a few dresses to sell at her juice stand. Over time, the demand for dresses surpassed that for juice, leading Lilly to close her juice business and focus solely on creating and selling her "Lillys" dresses.

In no time, Lilly's dresses gained popularity, catching the attention of her old friend and former First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy. A photograph of Jackie wearing one of Lilly's dresses appeared in Life magazine, sparking a nationwide desire for the same dress. Lilly Pulitzer became a sensation in the fashion world overnight.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Lilly Pulitzer's clothing line became the unofficial uniform of the wealthy. Her boutiques opened in all the favorite vacation spots of the elite, and her signature pink and green dresses became a symbol of a luxurious lifestyle.

Later Life and Legacy

In 1969, Lilly divorced Peter and later remarried Enrique Rousseau. Despite running a successful business, Lilly decided to close her company in 1984 to live a more secluded life with her husband and spend more time with her grandchildren.

In January 1993, Lilly relaunched her clothing line, making it even more popular. Her company expanded to include 75 flagship stores, boutiques, and departments in major supermarkets across the United States. The company now offers not only women's dresses but also men's and children's clothing, bedding sets, maternity wear, footwear, jewelry, accessories, and even stationery.

Unfortunately, Enrique passed away from cancer in the same year. However, in 1993, Jim Bradbeer and Scott Beaumont acquired the Lilly Pulitzer brand and are currently the owners of the company.