It’s no secret that Lilly Pulitzer is one of our favorite designers here at BackInStyle.com. Her whimsical, yet down to Earth approach to life is reflected in her bright prints, and simple designs. In honor of her new product line at Target launching this Sunday, we wanted to learn everything we could about her, and so we came across these Lilly Pulitzer facts that we wanted to share, plus a couple bonus quotes!
1. It was because of a nervous breakdown the Lilly Pulitzer was started.
A well-to-do housewife and mother of three humming along in her comfortable but evidently unsatisfying life in the 1950s, Lilly Pulitzer suffered, unexpectedly, what has been described as a nervous breakdown. A doctor advised her to get a hobby…
2. On at least one occasion, Vanity Fair reported, the Lilly dress performed a most unexpected function.
Mrs. Pulitzer and Clark, her business partner, were in a plane crash while traveling to Key West. Their aircraft in the water, Clark removed her orange frock and waved it at a helicopter. From the air, the pilot spotted it.
3. While entertaining in her home, Lilly Pulitzer would douse the floor with water to facilitate dancing.
4. In accordance with Mrs. Pulitzer’s reported preferences, the dress was to be worn with bare feet and was lined, in order not to require underwear.
5. Lilly never wanted to produce clothing that was suited for the colder months. “It’s always summer somewhere,” she was quoted as saying.
6. Lilly Pulitzer filed for bankruptcy in 1984.
7. Lilly Pulitzer dropped out of college and worked as a midwife’s assistant and as a volunteer at veterans’ hospitals.
8. She Had her own Personal Philosophy on Life:
“Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live,” Pulitzer said in 2004. “We focus on the best, fun and happy things, and people want that. Being happy never goes out of style.”
9. The word “Lilly” is always written and often hidden in all of her prints.
10. She changed Branding and Merchandising:
In 1966, The Washington Post reported that the dresses were “so popular that at the Southampton Lilly shop on Job’s Lane they are proudly put in clear plastic bags tied gaily with ribbons so that all the world may see the Lilly of your choice. It’s like carrying your own racing colors or flying a yacht flag for identification.”
Bonus! More Lilly on life:
“That’s what life is all about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight,” she said
And how she changed summer fashion:
“Now if there is one special thing Lilly Pulitzer should be given credit for,” read a 1966 Washington Post article, “it is this: She changed the summer uniform of countless thousands of American women who once wore flower printed cotton shirts, wrap around skirts and big, klonky, thick-soled loafers.The total look was usually that of a shirt tail flapping out awkwardly in the back. “Lilly Pulitzer,” the article continued, “neatly put a stop to all that.”
If you can’t get enough Lilly Pulitzer, feel free to learn more about her clothing on our Vintage Lilly Pulitzer page. You’ll also want to check out these other great Lilly Pulitzer Blog Articles: