You may know us as a brand, or a store, or the creators of your favorite printed dress or swimsuit. But we are so much more. Lilly Pulitzer is a lifestyle. We are a frame of mind, where the door’s always open and the clothing is bright and sunny. As we launch our resort season and our 60th year as a brand, we wanted to reflect on why our resort history, our Lilly, and our prints are more important to us and iconic than ever… 60 years later.
Our Resort History
We’ve been around since 1959ish, straight out of the sunshine state of Florida– Palm Beach to be exact. If you’re not familiar, sit back, we’ll spill the juice. And it actually all started a juice stand…. which perhaps you’ve heard. And we’ll get to that later. Let’s zip the clock back even further in the years…
Palm Beach has been the premier resort destination for the chic New York set for over one hundred years. Fact! So much so that the New York Times added the Palm Beach Season to their fashion calendar—that made it the fifth fashion season on the calendar (and eventually became the only one for us). Even still, resort wear was conservative and consisted of three basic colors: navy, red, and white (can you tell they hadn’t met Lilly yet). Let’s introduce our Lilly.
Fast Forward to the late 1950s, when our spirited founder Lilly Pulitzer eloped in Palm Beach to Peter Pulitzer (yes, the grandson of Joseph, founder of THE Pulitzers). Few were living in Florida full time back then, but Lilly saw paradise and she thought… why not? Always the rulebreaker, Lilly did things her own way.
In Palm Beach everyone wanted to be around Lilly. Her door was always open and her home was always filled with the most interesting and fabulous group of people. Magnetic, welcoming, authentically herself… everyone was invited to Lilly’s parties and they were a sight to see.
Shortly after moving and starting her family, Lilly’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and she started a juice stand in the vias just off the famous Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. It didn’t hurt that her husband’s family owned orange groves in Florida… ahhh fate.
The job was messier than she expected and Lilly needed a way to avoid staining her day dresses with juice. Most would have bought an apron. Not our Lilly. Remember– she did things her own way. She had her dresses made in “spill proof” fabrics and brightly colored printed shifts soon became her “uniform” at the shop. Soon all of Lilly’s friends wanted her dresses more than they wanted the juice. So, she gave the people what they wanted. And soon “Lillys” were seen all over Palm Beach and beyond.
Yes, we do “make ‘em like they used to.” Print is the magic ingredient that has always set Lillys apart. From the spill-proof days to today, whether you’re opting for a printed shift or a printed bikini, these hand-painted prints are unique, one-of-a-kind and entirely yours. Yes! That means we have the most talented artists under the sun painting our new prints just for you. Pro tip: you can tell it’s a true Lilly if you can find “Lilly” hidden in the print!
Celebrating 60 Years
Fast-forward to today. For generations, Lilly Pulitzer has come to represent the resort lifestyle for women of all ages, stages, and sunny destinations– inspiring all to be sunnier and happier.
Now, we know that every Resort season is full of celebrations (yes, that’s plural), but this Resort is a BIG.TIME.CELEBRATION. Why? We are celebrating 60ish years of Lilly! What does that mean? We are taking it back to our roots and celebrating this milestone with all of our friends for the love of Lilly. Let’s face it, we LOVE a good party, so this season we are going to celebrate a little extra. Follow along on our social and Resort 365 blog for all of the juicy details as the season goes on. You won’t want to miss this.