Monday, April 8, 2013
In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
Word of Lilly Pulitzer's death at age 81 was the first headline to grab my attention following a week spent in blissful ignorance. Born to wealth and position, Lillian Lee McKim might have been best known as a Palm Beach hostess extrordinaire. That she would find even more greatness as a fashion icon makes a charming story. She hit upon the signature floral print as a means of camouflaging juice spills at the grove stand she had contrived to keep busy selling Pulitzer family fruit. Soon the simple shifts were outselling the produce when the likes of Jackie Kennedy sparked their enduring popularity. Pulitzer remembered: "Jackie wore one of my dresses – it was made from kitchen curtain material – and people went crazy. They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business."
Today the company is part of Atlanta-based Oxford Industries.