Fashion Designer Lilly Pulitzer Dies at 81

 

 

 

 

” In the late 1950s, the Palm Beach socialite had time to spare and a wealthy husband who owned citrus groves, so she opened an orange juice stand just off the island’s main shopping street. Pulitzer needed to hide all the juice stains on her clothes, though. Instead of just putting on an apron, she asked her seamstress to make some sleeveless dresses in colorful fruit prints, and a fashion staple was born.

Pulitzer died at her home Sunday, according to Quattlebaum Funeral and Cremation Services. She was 81.

Pulitzer’s tropical print dresses became a sensation in the 1960s when then-first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who attended boarding school with Pulitzer, wore one of the sleeveless shifts in a Life magazine photo spread.

Pulitzer was born Lilly McKim on Nov. 10, 1931, to a wealthy family in Roslyn, N.Y.

In 1952, she married Pete Pulitzer, the grandson of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, whose bequest to Columbia University established the Pulitzer Prize.

Pulitzer had three children in quick succession. After the third was born, she had a nervous breakdown and ended up in a mental hospital that catered to upscale clientele in New York. A doctor there told her that she needed to find a job.”