all started with a juice stand in Palm Beach. Lilly, a young, sassy New York
socialite had eloped with Peter Pulitzer, grandson of the Pulitzer Prize's
Joseph Pulitzer and settled in Palm Beach to live the life of the rich and
famous. Peter owned several Florida citrus groves, but Lilly needed a project of
her own. So in 1960, with Peter's produce, she opened a juice stand on Via
Mizner, just off Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.
Lilly Pulitzer's business was a hit, but squeezing oranges,
lemons, limes, and pink grapefruit made a mess of her clothes. Realizing that
she needed a juice stand uniform, Lilly asked her dressmaker to design a dress
that would camouflage the stains. The result? A comfortable sleeveless shift
made of bright, colorful printed cotton - pink, green, yellow and orange. The
dress even had custom dressmaker details like lining and lace seam bindings. It
was perfect for the job and became Lilly's first Classic Shift.
Although her customers liked Lilly's juice, they loved her
dress. When people began to ask if they could buy the dress, Lilly had a few
more made up to sell in the stand. Soon Lilly was selling more dresses than
juice, so she decided to stop squeezing and to focus on designing and selling
her "Lillys." Before long, Jackie Kennedy, an old school chum, began wearing
Lillys and as First Lady was featured in Life Magazine wearing a Classic Shift.
Then, of course, everyone wanted one and Lilly Pulitzer« became a
the sixties and seventies, the Lilly Pulitzer line was the unofficial
uniform of the affluent at play. Lilly Pulitzer stores sprang up in the
favorite resorts of the jet set and Lilly's pink and green colors became the
banner of the preppy lifestyle. In 1984, however, Lilly closed her doors to
settle into retirement with her second husband, Enrique Rousseau (her marriage
to Peter had ended in 1969) and to enjoy her grandchildren. For the rest of the
decade, Lilly devotees were left to scour flea markets and re-sale shops to find
their beloved vintage Lillys.
In January 1993, the Lilly Pulitzer line was revived. Now, Lilly
Pulitzer is more popular than ever! The Lilly Pulitzer line is now
available in 77 Lilly Pulitzer« Signature Shops, company owned retail
stores, major department stores, and fine specialty stores nationwide. Its
popularity continues to grow among those who knew it years ago and those who
have just discovered the timeless fun of Lilly Pulitzer apparel.
Lilly is alive and well today. She often entertains her various family members
and friends in her home in Palm Beach, which she affectionately calls "The