THE LILLY FAD

NEW YORK — It was gone for 10 years. But the Lilly Pulitzer label — synonymous with brightly printed shifts and kerchiefs in the Sixties — reappeared in spring 1994. It has since been picked up by such stores as Henri Bendel, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Jacobson’s and Bloomingdale’s — and Lilly Pulitzer itself has grown into a $5 million company. Those bright patterns and simple shapes, with their nostalgic preppy look, are also having a much wider influence.
“A lot of our designers had a Lilly Pulitzer-esque feeling in their designs last spring, and we had such a great response to it that we thought perhaps we should go back to the original,” says Gail Goodman, merchandising manager of Henri Bendel. “We’re also seeing preppie chic happening, and it harkens back to that look.”
“She’s right for the moment with the return of color and prints and the hip-preppie look, and she’s doing some interesting new silhouettes, like short skirts and capri pants,” says Nicole Fischelis, vice president and fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Of her renewed success, Pulitzer herself says, “Isn’t it the damnedest thing? It’s like when it first started, and the fun is in seeing them on all those young, firm bodies. They’re the daughters and granddaughters of the original Lilly customers.” Here, an original — and some tributes to the Lilly Pulitzer look.

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