By Garland Pollard
PALM BEACH, NEW YORK – We all think we know the story of Lilly Pulitzer, of how she opened up a juice stand in Palm Beach, started printing up some fabric, sold it as skirts, and turned it into the fashion icon that it is today, with a little help from former schoolmate Jackie Kennedy.
But most have forgotten something. That for over a decade, the Lilly brand was defunct. Kaput. Out of business. When Lilly Pulitzer decided to retire in 1984, the whole thing shut down, only to be revived a total of nine years later.
And then it returned. Yes, some old patterns were revived, but essentially, it is a completely new company. Reinvented, after closing for nine years. This is a good omen for those who wish for Burdine’s, Marshall Field’s and Carroll Reed to return. It can be done; in fact when there is a great story, it makes it easy.
Recently, Lilly did the ultimate for a brand. It opened a boutique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Please do go by and visit this holiday season. It’s at 1020 Madison Avenue.