Known best for her brightly-colored sundresses and resort wear that became staples of Palm beach society mavens and sorority girls everywhere, American fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer passed away last night in her Florida home.
Pulitzer’s first foray into the fashion business came after her troubled marriage to publishing heir Peter Pulitzer landed her in a New York mental hospital. After her divorce, she began selling fruit grown in her former husband’s orchards out of the back of a truck. “I was always covered with juice,” she said. “So I designed myself a cotton shift in colors that matched the fruit.” When friends started asking where she’d bought it, Pulitzer found her target market. By the mid 1980s, she had 31 stores nationwide and had seen her clothes on the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Dina Merrill.
Pulitzer was 81, and is survived by her three children.