Palm Beach, Florida, may as well be the official Lilly Pulitzer capital of the world. Not only did the company begin right on the island, but the residents and visitors are totally decked out in the instantly recognizable vibrant prints and colors. I went down to Palm Beach to fully immerse myself in the Lilly lifestyle—despite my Southern roots, I didn’t know much about it—and was amazed to hear all sorts of tidbits and backstories about the iconic brand. Here’s what I learned—plus a few photos from my trip to the Flagship store at the Breakers.
Erin Heatherton in the Rosie shift dress, $198, lillypulitzer.com
The brand was created somewhat by accident—Lilly ran a fruit stand in Palm Beach and asked her dressmaker for a pattern that would hide the stains. Eventually, customers were much more interested in the clothes than the juice, and the Lilly Pulitzer label was born.
A dressing room at the Breakers store tells the brand’s origin story.
Yes, she’s one of those Pulitzers. Lilly’s first husband was Peter Pulitzer, son of newspaper titan Joseph.
The brand really took off when Jackie Kennedy wore a Lilly Pulitzer dress, in 1962. Oh, and Jackie and Lilly were former classmates, nbd.
A pretty shell-lined mirror and painted ceiling in the dressing rooms
Every store is unique, and the designs on the walls are custom-created by Lilly print designers.
Lilly had a wild side. In fact, she was known to go sans underwear, and that’s why all of her dresses are cotton-lined (phew).
Prints on prints on prints
Lilly was so popular in Palm Beach that everyone swears she was their godmother.
That upcoming Lilly Pulitzer for Target collaboration we’re so excited about? It features exclusive prints from the Lilly print studio—you won’t see them anywhere else.
Back in the day, customers could score an actual lunch with Lilly as a shopping incentive. Today, they give amazing, exclusive gifts with purchase and still call the event Lunch With Lilly to keep the tradition going, even after the designer’s passing in April 2013. (Psst—it starts this Saturday, March 21, in stores and on lillypulitzer.com!)
Cuteness above the store’s front doors