April 7th, 2013 was a sad day in the fashion industry. We lost an impressive designer and great person in Lilly Pulitzer when she passed away at 81 years old. However, we who worship innovative and colorful fashion design have a lot to celebrate in her timeless and fun pieces. At Cida’s women’s consignment shop, we’re happy to see her pieces come and go throughout our store and it allows us to remember how truly talented she was. Her story and the story of her design aesthetic is an interesting one and it seems to make her pieces come to life on the rack.
Although born in New York, Lilly relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, with her husband, Peter, shortly after they eloped in 1950. Her husband found a profitable business in the citrus industry and Lilly enjoyed setting up a juice stand herself on the side of the road. She soon experimented with design by creating herself a colorful shift dress to wear while working. The juice spills on her working clothes made her feel like a slob, so the colorful shift dress was able to camouflage any accidents she had while juicing.
The dress also accentuated her figure and Lilly began to receive many compliments from local townswomen. Before she knew it, Lilly had little time for juicing oranges and was busy filling orders for her classic “Lilly” shift dress.
Lilly soon started her own company in Miami, Florida and was selling her dresses to high end celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Vanderbilt family. Despite her successes, Lilly closed down the operation in 1984.
In 1993, Sugartown Worldwide Inc. purchased the rights to Pulitzer’s brand because they felt they could bring it back to be relevant in today’s fashion world. While Lilly didn’t have a role in the day-to-day operations of the company, she was still brought on as a creative consultant to the design department. She helped choose fabrics, alter designs, and had a hand in the aesthetic of the clothing line.
Although Lilly is now gone, we can still see her aesthetic in the pieces that often come through Cida’s Consignment shop. The bright and bold colors with a feminine yet flattering design are just what every woman needs in her wardrobe. Stop by to see what Lilly Pulitzer pieces we have in and you could add a beautiful piece of fashion history to your own closet.
If you are in the Orlando/Winter Park area, stop by Cida’s Consignment to see what Lilly Pulitzer gems we might have in stock!