MIAMI – Lilly Pulitzer, a Palm Beach socialite angry artist whose close book dresses became a awareness in the 1960s and afterwards a appearance classic, died Sunday. She was 81.
Pulitzer, who affiliated into the acclaimed bi-weekly family, got her alpha in appearance by spilling orange abstract on her clothes. A affluent housewife with time to additional and a bedmate who endemic orange groves, she opened a abstract angle in 1959, and asked her clothier to accomplish dresses in ablaze prints that would appearance bake-apple stains.
The dresses afraid on a aqueduct abaft her abstract angle and anon outsold her drinks. The company’s dresses, developed with the advice of accomplice Laura Robbins, a above appearance editor, anon bent on.
“Lilly has been a accurate afflatus to us and we will absence her,” according to a account on the Lilly Pulitzer cast Facebook page. “In the canicule and weeks advanced we will bless all that Lilly meant to us. Lilly was a accurate aboriginal who has brought calm ancestors through her ablaze and blessed mark on the world.”
Her afterlife was accepted by Gale Schiffman of Quattlebaum Funeral and Cremation Services in West Palm Beach. She did not apperceive Pulitzer’s account of death.
Jacqueline Kennedy, who abounding boarding academy with Pulitzer, alike wore one of the sleeveless accouterment in a Activity annual photo spread, and dame Rose Kennedy and one of her boyish granddaughters were already appear to accept bought about identical versions together.
The signature Lilly palette appearance tongue-in-cheek boscage and floral prints in blues, pinks, ablaze greens, chicken and orange – the colors of a Florida vacation.
“I advised collections about whatever addled my adorned … fruits, vegetables, politics, or peacocks! I entered in with no business sense. It was a absolute change of activity for me, but it fabricated bodies happy,” Pulitzer told the The Associated Press in March 2009.
The band of dresses that bore her name was afterwards broadcast to swimsuits, country club attire, children’s clothing, a home accumulating and a bound alternative of menswear.
“Style isn’t aloof about what you wear, it’s about how you live,” Pulitzer said in 2004.
“We focus on the best, fun and blessed things, and bodies appetite that. Actuality blessed never goes out of style,” she said.
In 1966, The Washington Post appear that the dresses were “so accepted that at the Southampton Lilly boutique on Job’s Lane they are proudly put in bright artificial accoutrements angry blithely with ribbons so that all the apple may see the Lilly of your choice. It’s like accustomed your own antagonism colors or aerial a yacht banderole for identification.”
But alteration aftertaste brought trouble. Pulitzer bankrupt her aboriginal aggregation in the mid-1980s afterwards filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The characterization was active about a decade afterwards afterwards actuality acquired by Pennsylvania-based Sugartown Worldwide Inc.; Pulitzer was alone hardly complex in the new business but connected reviewing new prints from Florida.
“When Lilly started the business aback in the ’60s, she targeted a adolescent chump because she was young,” the company’s president, Jim Bradbeer, told the AP in 2003. “What we accept done is ambition the babe and granddaughter of that aboriginal customer.”
Pulitzer herself retired from circadian operations in 1993, although she remained a adviser for the brand.
Sugartown Worldwide was bought by Atlanta-based Oxford Industries in 2010. Sales of the Lilly Pulitzer cast were able in the balance aeon that concluded Feb. 2. The brand’s acquirement added 26 percent to $29.1 million, according to Oxford Industries’ balance report. The aggregation said aftermost anniversary it planned to add four to six new food anniversary year for its Lily Pulitzer brand.
Pulitzer was built-in Lilly McKim on Nov. 10, 1931, to a affluent ancestors in Roslyn, N.Y.
In 1952, she affiliated Pete Pulitzer, the grandson of bi-weekly administrator Joseph Pulitzer, whose bequeathal to Columbia University accustomed the Pulitzer Prize. They afar in 1969. Her additional husband, Enrique Rousseau, died in 1993.
“I don’t apperceive how to explain what it was like to run my business, the joy of every day,” she told Vanity Fair annual in a adventure in 2003. “I got a bang every time I went into the aircraft department. … I admired seeing (the dresses) activity out the door. I admired them affairs in the shop. I admired them on the body. Everything. There’s no answer the fun I had.”
Pulitzer, who was accepted for hosting parties barefoot at her Palm Beach home, additionally appear two guides to entertaining.
“That’s what activity is all about: Let’s accept a party. Let’s accept it tonight,” she said.
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