Lilly Pulitzer Celebrates 65 Years with a Nostalgic New Capsule Collection [Exclusive]

It all started with a stain. After needing a change of pace and renewed sense of purpose, Lilly Pulitzer opened her first juice stand in Palm Beach, Florida, and soon she noticed all of her outfits were getting stained thanks to spilled fruit juices. It was then that she worked with a local dressmaker to create a shift dress in bright colors to wear on the job — the bright colors strategically masked the stains as they happened. As her collection of dresses grew, people asked where they came from and if they could be bought and the rest, as they say, is history. She officially founded the iconic brand in 1959.

Lilly Pulitzer in her Palm Beach shop in 1964<p>Photo: Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer</p>
Lilly Pulitzer in her Palm Beach shop in 1964

Photo: Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer

"She loved seeing people wearing her clothes. As her designs showcased, her power was in her authenticity," Lilly Leas Ferreira, granddaughter of Pulitzer, tells Fashionista exclusively. "She was fun, feminine, whimsical and bold. She never tried to be anything other than exactly who she was, and that type of style is contagious — both in fashion and in life."

An early female fashion entrepreneur in the U.S., Pulitzer helped cement — and originate — American resortwear. (It helped that her former classmate and friend, Jackie Kennedy, donned the line while visiting her in Palm Beach, and also was spotted in it on the cover of Time in 1962.)

Lilly Pulitzer in her Palm Beach shop in 1974<p>Photo: Fairchild Archive/Penske Media via Getty Images</p>
Lilly Pulitzer in her Palm Beach shop in 1974

Photo: Fairchild Archive/Penske Media via Getty Images

"She created a new way of dressing, a modern attitude towards what casual glamour could look like," says Lilly Pulitzer CEO Michelle Kelly. "The legacy of the brand and the mark it has left on generations of customers is something we hear about every day, and we cherish that connection." Kelly points to stories of generations of families wearing Lilly Pulitzer, for big and small occasions, and its striking identity in the marketplace. You know a Lilly Pulitzer piece when you see it — "the brand is known for happy colors, true Lilly prints and optimism."

That signature stylee, even as Pulitzer herself retired from the brand full-time in 1993, has never waned. (She stayed on as a consultant until 2013, when she passed away; even after the brand was sold to Oxford Industries — owner of brands like Tommy Bahama and Johnny Was — in 2010.) And that appeal continues as the brand launches a new 65th Anniversary Collection, which focuses on bringing the bright beginnings of the brand to new consumers, while also giving longtime fans something fresh.

Palm Beach women in Lilly Pulitzer by Slim Aarons, 1964<p>Photo: Slim Aarons/Getty Images</p>
Palm Beach women in Lilly Pulitzer by Slim Aarons, 1964

Photo: Slim Aarons/Getty Images

"The 65th Anniversary Collection is a culmination of everything we love about our heritage brought to the modern day," says Mira Fain, creative director and EVP of design at Lilly Pulitzer. "Iconic styles reinvented to refreshed classics, and Lilly signature details like lace trims juxtaposed with fun feathers and cutouts." Fun fact: Every single one of the Lilly Pulitzer prints is hand-painted and all colors used are custom, meaning "you truly can't find these styles anywhere else," says Kelly.

The limited-edition collection ranges in price from $398 to $748, and will be available beginning on Tuesday until it sells out — which Lilly Pulitzer styles often do. (Remember that Target collaboration?) You can shop the styles on, and at select Lilly Pulitzer retail stores and specialty stores, plus and

<p>Lilly Pulitzer 65th Anniversary Collection. Photo: Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer</p>

Lilly Pulitzer 65th Anniversary Collection. Photo: Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer

View the 5 images of this gallery on the original article

While the capsule features fun and flirty new styles like a flow-y caftan and a beaded, more fitted maxi, it also includes the quintessential shift dress that made Lilly Pulitzer a household name.

"We lovingly refer to the original shift dress as 'the Lilly,' and this iconic garment and how it has evolved over decades is celebrated throughout the 65th Year Anniversary Collection," says Fain. "It is truly a staple style that can be dressed up from morning to night. It's our homage to our hometown of Palm Beach and happy prints that spark an emotional connection. Each piece is collectable and timeless."

Lilly and her daughters in her shift dresses in the 1960s<p>Photo: Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer</p>
Lilly and her daughters in her shift dresses in the 1960s

Photo: Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer

It's noteworthy that Lilly Pulitzer's hold on timeless, but fun, American style has survived multiple generations, and doesn't seem to be going anywhere any time soon.

"That's the beauty of a heritage brand with an incredible founding story, long-lasting emotional connection across generations, and our resort state of mind," says Kelly. "It's timeless, connects with you at different stages in your life and simply puts more joy and confidence into the world."

Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.

Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.