Today, we remember the queen of preppy prints, Lilly Pulitzer, on what would have been her 84th birthday. Though she passed away in spring 2013, we still celebrate Pulitzer for her outstanding contributions to fashion design and her prominence in American society as an influencer and well-known socialite.
Born 84 years ago, Pulitzer's story of how she rose to fame as a fashion designer is a charming one. As it's been told, Pulitzer began producing dresses after she moved to Florida, where her husband owned multiple citrus orange groves. To keep busy and contribute to the family business, Pulitzer opened a juice stand and found that squeezing juice was a messy job that often left her clothes stained. In an effort to hide the juice stains, Lilly designed a brightly colored shift dress to wear while on the job. Based on Pulitzer's keen eye for prints, it's no surprise that customers immediately took to the design and wanted to buy the same dress—in the same colorful pattern. As a result, Pulitzer began to produce replicas of the dress to sell in her juice stand. Almost sounds like a storybook, doesn't it?
As you can imagine, Pulitzer's frocks were an instant hit and she established Lilly Pulitzer, Inc. circa 1959. Known for her signature bright, bold prints that often feature florals and fruits, Pulitzer created designs that were eventually worn by famous elites. To name a few, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Caroline Kennedy, and members of the Rockefeller family had been seen sporting Pulitzer's shift dresses, which allowed for Pulitzer's company to gain an enormous following.
Today, the brand still thrives, putting out everything from notebooks to carry-all bags and clothes in Pulitzer's popular patterns. And so, in honor of Pulitzer's life, legacy, and successful career, we honor the fashion designer on what would have been her 84th birthday.