KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Lilly Pulitzer® celebrates the life of our founder, Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, who died April 7, 2013 surrounded by her friends and family in Palm Beach.
Lilly Pulitzer started her company in 1959ish when she began creating colorful, printed dresses to hide the juice stains while working in her juice stand in Palm Beach, FL. Soon she was selling more dresses than juice, and the fashion label was born. Over the past 50ish years, Lilly’s life has been a constant muse for the brand’s unique prints and designs.
Born in New York in 1931, Lillian Lee McKim married Peter Pulitzer Jr. and settled down in Palm Beach, Florida. In the late 1950s, Lilly started selling oranges from her husband’s nearby groves and opened up a juice stand on Via Mizner. Her business was quickly successful and her clothes were thoroughly stained. Working with a local seamstress, she created a simple shift dress, choosing a vividly colored, rambunctious print that would hide the stains, and the fruit stand became a boutique.
The shift dress or “The Lilly,” as it came to be known, shot to international fame when Lilly's old schoolmate Jacqueline Kennedy née Bouvier, at the time the First Lady, was photographed wearing a "Lilly" on the cover of LIFE magazine in 1962.
From the 1960’s to the early 1980’s, Lilly Pulitzer’s business was booming as she made clothing for women, children and men. Lilly closed her business in 1984 and in 1992, current President, James B. Bradbeer, Jr. and CEO Scott A. Beaumont started Sugartown Worldwide, Inc. and bought the Lilly Pulitzer® brand. In 2010, the company was acquired by Oxford Industries, Inc., an international apparel design, sourcing and marketing company.
“Today we celebrate all that Lilly meant to us and come together as Lilly Lovers to honor a true original who has brought together generations through her bright and happy mark on the world.” –President, James B. Bradbeer, JR and CEO, Scott A. Beaumont
The company has designed a tribute to Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau and encourages Lilly Lovers to visit http://tribute.lillypulitzer.com/ to share their stories.