Lilly for Target: Where do you stand?

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Melissa Shaw

On January 6, Lilly Pulitzer, a brand of vibrantly colored apparel with fruits and floral covered designs, announced that they would be selling a collection in 1,800 Target stores this upcoming spring. The announcement resulted in controversial responses from those who appreciate the legacy behind the brand.

The patterns started in 1959 when Lilly started a juice stand in Palm Beach, Florida. Lilly struggled to hide the messy juice stains on her clothes so she made “a classic shift dress” out of kitchen curtains. She used material covered in vivid colors to hide the stains on her dress.

The brand took off like crazy when Lilly’s high school friend, Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady at the time, wore one of her dresses while on vacation. Sales skyrocketed and a brand was born that had an immediate fan base willing to pay high prices.

Today, the prices of Lilly Pulitzer dresses range from $98 - $298. Loyal customers fear the product will lose the legendary reputation now that the line will be sold at Target. Customers are enraged a product they spent $200 on will now be sold at a significantly discounted price in Target stores. Despite the differences between the clothing line designed for Target and the patterns sold in the stores, the clothing will be similar enough to be recognized as Lilly Pulitzer.

Nicole Breen, a senior student at Assumption College, is a loyal consumer of Lilly Pulitzer products. She believes founder Lilly Pulitzer, who passed away two years ago, would be happy about this marketing decision for her brand.

“Pulitzer believed in all women experiencing happiness and good times,” she said.

Breen is excited about the brand coming to Target.

“I think everyone should be able to rock a Lilly dress, regardless of where they purchased it from,” she said. “I can appreciate being able to purchase the brand at a more affordable cost.”

Only time will tell if the brand survives on both the shelves of Lilly stores and Target racks.

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