A Letter To Lilly Pulitzer

Disclaimer: This is to the company, not the person.

Dear Lilly Pulitzer,
I just want to start off by saying that I am a die-hard Lilly fan. Some people cheer for sports teams, I cheer for you. My room is filled with artwork inspired by your delightful prints, I spend more money than I should on your products, and I try my hardest to be a girl that Lilly herself would be proud of, living in a sunny state of mind.

But lately, I’ve been less than pleased with your company. I first heard of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target a few months ago, whenever it was first announced, and I had mixed feelings about it. I mean, Lilly was a wealthy New York and Palm Beach socialite. Her biggest customer was her former classmate Jackie Kennedy. I’m pretty sure she never would have stepped foot inside a Target store. To me, it ruins the perfectly pink and preppy image that she worked so hard to create.

But then I realized- that doesn’t matter to me. It’s not my reputation that’s getting put on the line. If going to Target was a risk y’all were willing to take, then by all means, I was ready to support it. As the launch of the collection grew closer and closer, I got more and more excited. I went online and picked out all my favorites. I tweeted about it, texted all my friends, and defended it to my mom. And on the morning of Sunday, April 19, I woke up relaxed, refreshed, and ready to spend some money (after church, of course). Before I left, however, I searched #LillyForTarget on Twitter to gauge others’ reactions, and what i found absolutely appalled me. Less than an hour after the collection was released, it was completely sold out. Everywhere. Online. In stores. With no restocks. A collection that was supposed to last weeks, gone in a matter of minutes. Females of all ages were lined up outside Target hours before it opened, ready to shop until they dropped, and what did they find? They had been tricked. Only the first ten people in line got to truly enjoy it. Those perfectly printed shift dresses they had been planning on wearing all summer long? Only two in each size. One of the main selling points of the collection, the plus-size clothing, only available online. In the wise words of Taylor Swift, this was a nightmare dressed as a daydream.

If there’s one thing that I know about Lilly Pulitzer (the person), it is that she was the hostess with the mostest. I mean, the girl always left her front gate open, just so guests could come and start the party anytime they pleased. And the number one rule of parties? Make sure no one gets left out, and everyone is having a good time. The Lilly for Target collection was made with exclusivity in mind, and for that reason, it is with confidence that I say that this is not what Lilly would have wanted for her company. Don’t get me wrong, from a marketing standpoint, it was a huge success. The advertising was genius. Everyone knew about it, and y’all made enormous profits. But do finances really matter if no one is happy with you? A wise man once said, “Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”

I encourage y’all to take a cue from the lifestyle of your namesake and fearless leader. Lilly would never tell anyone they were too late to the party, she’d just keep the party going on longer. Since when is that too much to ask?

Yours in sunshine and shift dresses,

Grace Laurel Rogers

79 thoughts on “A Letter To Lilly Pulitzer

  1. Great letter, Grace! I agree! I told my Niece……… this isn’t Lilly, It’s “Target Lilly”….two different things! So don’t feel so sad. You didn’t miss anything but greedy people filling their baskets full of Lilly things packed to the top so they could resell on eBay! And that is what happened. It is cheaper stuff. NOT the real Lilly. Sure enough, by 4 PM Sunday afternoon, eBay had the Target Lilly stuff up and at skyrocket prices! That totally stinks. Lilly does not belong in Target. It wouldn’t have happened in her “era.”
    Thank you again, Grace. You are not a snob. You have a love of Lilly. Most people have no understanding of that. God Bless.

  2. Well, bless your heart. Lilly’s own family said she would have approved of the Target collab, and that’s good enough for me. This Florida girl from the 60s and 70s has loved her as long as I can remember and you don’t have to be born rich to be happy and barefoot on the beach in Florida, surrounded by friends, having a good time. If you’re doing that, Lilly is with you in spirit, always.

  3. Having been a buyer for several major department stores, it is Target who made the mistake of not buying enough LP. LP would have sold them as much as they wanted to buy. It’s so silly to blame LP.

  4. I sold and wear Lilly and have lots of vintage pieces. A little bubble burst, I met someone yesterday who owned a boutique, knew Lilly and sold her collection pieces. However, once Lilly realized how well she was doing, opened a full Lilly shop up the street . Lilly and her sister were apparently very competitive which shows in my Lilly dress from the 70s Eliza by Lily Pulitzer. My point is that she was clearly a savvy business woman and would have approved of this revitalization of her name brand , Target or no Target. Nordstrom often had a “Rack down the street from main store. Idea is people will buy a certain brand, love it and then go to main store. Clearly works for them . Same idea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.