Lillian Pulitzer Rousseau, popularly known as Lilly Pulitzer, was born on November 10, 1931. She founded Lilly Pulitzer, Inc., which is a company that makes apparel and other items with brilliant, vibrant floral prints. She was dubbed the “Queen of Prep” because the brand is well-known among the upper class. One of Pulitzer’s most popular styles is the Jacqueline dress. Her mantra for whatever she did was, “Everything is possible with sunshine and a little pink,” which perfectly reflected her bright and cheerful fabric creations. Each Pulitzer print held a secret. We owe her a magnificent birthday tribute today.
Lillian Pulitzer Rousseau
Lilly, Queen of Prep
November 10, 1931
April 7, 2013 (age 81)
Lilly Pulitzer was born in Roslyn, New York, on November 10, 1931. She was raised in a well-to-do family as the second daughter of Robert V. McKim (father) and Lillian Stokes Bostwick Phips (mother). Her parents were well-known socialites then, and her mother was the heiress to the Standard Oil fortune. Pulitzer grew up in a wealthy upper-class family with two sisters: Mary Maude, her older sister, and Florence Fitch, her younger sister. She went to the Chapin School in New York City, and her zodiac sign is Scorpio.
Pulitzer started her career by opening a fruit juice stand on Via Mizner in Palm Beach. While working at the stand, she discovered that squeezing juice made her clothes smear and eventually designed a sleeveless shift dress out of vibrant, colorful printed cotton. Customers liked her clothing so much that they started buying more clothes than juice, so she decided to design and sell her ‘Lillys.’ In 1959, she founded her own company, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc., with its headquarters in Miami, Florida. Her vibrant, bright outfits became immensely popular between the 1960s and 1980s when most upper-class people began wearing them.
Pulitzer married twice before passing away in 2013. Her first marriage was to Herbert (Peter) Pulitzer Jr., Joseph Pulitzer’s grandson. In 1950, the couple married in a lavish ceremony and had three children — a son and two daughters. Their marriage, however, ended in divorce after 19 years of marriage. She married again to Enrique Rousseau in 1969, shortly after her divorce. She never married again after Rousseau died of cancer in 1993.
Pulitzer establishes her firm, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc., with its headquarters in Miami, Florida.
Pulitzer's bright, vivid garments become so famous that many celebrities and upper-class families start to wear them all the time.
Sugartown Worldwide, Inc. purchases the brand's rights and approaches Pulitzer, hoping to revive it with her unique and popular designs, fabrics, and collections.
Target announces a partnership with Pulitzer, and her unique design collection is almost entirely sold out in stores and online within hours.
Why We Love Lilly Pulitzer
She was a fantastic artist
Her designs were incredibly innovative, and her creativity in the fashion industry caused such a stir that she governed the industry for many decades. Many celebrities and prominent people admired her artistic abilities.
She was a fighter
Pulitzer went through a difficult time. She suffered from severe anxiety attacks and sought therapy at a Westchester County, New York, psychiatric facility. She returned home with a new sense of vigor that inspired her to combat her depression and restart her career.
She believed in living a colorful life
With sunshine and a splash of pink, anything was possible for Pulitzer. She valued grace, which she believed could be combined with fits of laughter. She concentrated on life's positive and enjoyable aspects, and her happiness was never out of style.
5 Surprising Facts
She went to school with Jackie O.
Pulitzer and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former first lady and eternal fashionista, were classmates at the Chapin School in New York City when they were kids.
She had a collection of unusual pets
While living with her first husband, Peter Pulitzer, she had several unusual pets, such as a monkey and a calf.
She often went commando
Pulitzer had never liked wearing underwear in the Florida heat, published in “Vanity Fair,” a monthly journal of contemporary culture, fashion, and current events.
She filed for bankruptcy
According to “The Daily Beast,” Pulitzer noticed a pattern of declining profitability as fashion changed dramatically in the 1980s, which prompted her to file for bankruptcy.
Pulitzer was a very private person
Pulitzer was highly private, and even her closest friends were worried about how she kept her emotions hidden.
Lilly Pulitzer FAQs
What happened to Lilly Pulitzer?
She died at 81 at her home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Where are Lilly Pulitzer clothes made?
We only know the garments are made in China because the labels state so.
Did Lilly Pulitzer change her name?
Yes, she did. Her given birth name was Lillian Lee McKim.
Lilly Pulitzer’s birthday dates