This Palm Beach based “Queen of Prep” was the daughter of a Standard Oil heiress who began her career selling orange juice on Worth Avenue. Customers loved Pulitzer’s bright dresses and seizing on this, she began to sell them. Soon, her creations became the favourites of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Caroline Kennedy and members of the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Whitney families. Sales reached $15 million a year in the 1960s and 1970s and net sales in 2010, by which time the company was owned by Oxford Industries, were $122.6 million. Lily Pulitzer’s designs remain as “must-have” items in the wardrobes of wealthy socialites and jetsetters and “The Lilly” is a household name. When told a specific print could not be used for an exhibition of her works because it was expensive, she answered simply: “A budget… How embarrassing”.
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