TP is in heaven. Truly.
The editorial brains minds over at Women’s Wear Daily have dedicated an entire special issue of the paper to Lilly Pulitzer’s 50th. (You may remember in today’s post on the Inaugural gowns that we mentioned WWD was doing some fabulous special issues… this is another one of those special editions.)
For those less familiar with the Lilly Pulitzer brand, it was started in 1958 by Lilly Pulitzer….
… rapidly becoming very successful into the early 1980’s. And then – horrors! The line ceased operating in 1984 and all hope was lost for true Lilly lovers. Life began anew in 1994 when Scott Beaumont and James Bradbeer Jr. (seen below) decided to buy the company and bring the storied line back to life.
And it gets better moving forward: the company plans to grow the brand through the addition of a stationery and gift line. How fabulous is this news?!
“…. party goods and gifts, from wrapping paper and bags to partyware, cocktail napkins and drink umbrellas, office accessories like desk sets, diaries, notebooks, frames and calendars…”
The paper line is on track to launch in January. If you would like to be on the mailing list for updates on the line and other announcements, just click here to be taken to the Lifeguard Press site.
There is a quick mention of the sleepwear line, licensed by Carole Hochman:
As well as an intriguing look at the design process. Have you ever wondered just how the company continues to come up with such smashing colors and designs? Here is an inspiration board from Lilly headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Below, members of the Lilly Design Team experiment with color.
TP is absolutely transfixed by the pink and green chairs even though they are almost impossible to see in the photo. Perhaps they are easier to see in this shot of the atrium at the Lilly Mother Ship:
One of the dynamite stories in the special issue features quotes from some of fashion’s brightest talents on the brand and its founder. Here is a sampling accompanied by fun photos of Lilly back in the 1970’s. We start with Ralph Lauren‘s comments:
“Lilly Pulitzer created a very distinct look — her personal style of bright colors and prints has an important place in fashion.”
And this from Kate Spade….
“Lilly Pulitzer was one of the first to take a personal look and lifestyle and turn it into a brand. Her cheery and colorful prints are much imitated, but she is a true original.”
As well as Isaac Mizrahi…
“Lilly Pulitzer is one of the few designers worthy of copying. You can’t be an American designer without a little nod to Lilly.”
Reed Krakoff (the Grand Poohbah at Coach) has memories similar to those you probably have:
“One of my earliest memories of fashion is my mom wearing a lime green printed shift dress at our country club in Weston, Connecticut. Lilly Pulitzer was a summer uniform and always defined summer style.”
Our favorite quote is probably this one from Jonathan Adler:
“Lilly Pulitzer makes everyone look happier, richer and more fun-loving than they probably are. Lilly equals sunshine.”
TP has never been to the Mother Ship in Pennsylvania:
Nor have we visited the Lilly store at King of Prussia mall, practically in the backyard of Lilly HQ:
Remember the 50th Anniversary Lilly Pulitzer Jeep we showed previously? Well, here at the Prepatorium we periodically queried the Princess Consort, asking if he thought anyone was ordering up the Special Edition vehicle. (Of course, he loves queries of this nature in all their profundity and thought-provoking significance.)
It turns out people *have* been buying the Limited Edition Jeep:
“About 70 of the Jeeps were preordered and, at $25,000 a pop, some of the Signature store owners will not only be driving one, but they are also able to sell them to their customers.”
Still to come? A Florida’s Natural orange juice carton done in one of the signature Pulitzer prints. An altogether remarkable story, quintessentially American with its ups and downs, and its happy ending for the company’s founder. Although she no longer owns the company, Lilly is still on hand as a consultant; her design influence and imprint can be seen everywhere.