Today’s Fashion Headlines: Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013 • Fashion Blog, Fashion News

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer Passes Away

Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, the socialite turned fashion designer, died Sunday at her Palm Beach, Florida home at the age of 81. The cause of death isn’t immediately known, although she was reported to have failing health in recent weeks. After suffering depression in her late twenties, Pulitzer at opened an orange juice stand in 1958 as a hobby. She then began developing brightly colored and boldly patterned blouses and dresses to help hide the stains created by her juice.

The clothes were a hit and within a few years, they were sold in stores throughout the U.S. Jacqueline Kennedy was featured in Life Magazine wearing a whimsical shift dress by Pulitzer. The pair had been classmates in high school at Miss Porter’s.

“She sprinkled fun and pixie dust everywhere she went and was joyful right until the end,” said Kathie Orrico, a partner at C. Orrico, the specialty retailer that operates three Lilly Pulitzer stores and carries the line in its other four stores also. “I saw her just last week and, just like always, she had cute phrases and words that inspired us to be bright and happy. Palm Beach is really the only town in the entire world that has its own look and its own designer,” Orrico said. “All her designs reflected the light and the heart that she brought to the world.”

An American Push for Macy’s

Macy’s kicks off “American Icons,” on May 15th. The promotion will run through the Fourth of July in all 800 of its stores and American Icons is a tribute to America’s historic destinations, great outdoors, pastimes, and traditions like drive-in movies, baseball, and grilling in the backyard. It also includes American fashion designers. During the promotion, most of Macy’s merchandise, marketing , and in-store visuals will revolve around an Americana theme. Fashion and home goods have been created just for the occasion by top American designers and brands. The promotion will also raise money for veterans.

First a TV Show, Then a Beauty Brand

To catch a glimpse of new or potential beauty entrepreneurs, tune in to Bravo. Many cast members of the “Real Housewives” series are eyeing beauty, as well as handbags, shoes, and alcohol as a step toward brand building.

“There’s a strong connection between reality TV and beauty. Most of these woman are glamorous and beautiful,” said Alisa Beyer, founding partner and chief executive officer of the brand consultancy The Beauty Company. “We know the power of TV from QVC. But reality TV is a far less-controlled medium,” said Beyer, adding that to succeed in beauty, “these women need to be beautiful, aspirational, smart and completely focused.”

Beyer pointed out the beauty business has low barriers to entry, especially because contract manufacturers are plentiful. This might explain why unqualified housewives feel they can easily break into the beauty industry! However, Beyer does estimate that it takes roughly $5 million to launch a beauty brand and even more capital to give it staying power. Retailers have yet to fully embrace reality TV-born brands and most housewives’ cosmetics are exclusively sold online.

– Claire Mykrantz

Source & Image: WWD

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