There has been a great deal of debate, and anger, and tears (and yes, some joy-- ecstatic, gorgeous, pink-oozing joy) about the whole Lilly Pulitzer for Target thing that just happened last Sunday. Some feel the line should've been expanded, that more should have been made, "if it was going to be made available for the general public." That a supply should've been made for the demand.
Okay. Read that again. Made available for the general public. Why? Why, in heaven's name, would a virtual haute couture line, one that's been in business for what, almost seven decades, decide to take what has worked for generations of the few and try to change it for everyone? Why would they change a line that is highly respected and valued because it is quality and because the prices reflect that value, LOWER their class act just so everyone can own a piece?
The answer is: They shouldn't. Only make it appear that we can own it.
There is one truth I need to point out here, and it's a bit non-sequitur: Designers shouldn't stay in a rut. Change is good. Change keeps the clothing line young, new, and fresh. We need change to remain changed, for the better. But changing an image, a brand that has stood for quality, beauty and class -- and gorgeous patterns that scream vacation -- don't need to rework their branding. They only need to add to their customer purchase power. They don't need to lower their standards to be made available to everyone. They only need to draw more loyal women to their doors to gain, appreciate and ultimately purchase, the Lilly Love.
Lilly Pulitzer gave everyone a "chance" at owning their product for a lesser price, but not at the expense of becoming a cheap clothier. By having a small selection at Target, one that sold out in minutes, one that was only available in SOME Target stores, basically heightens their already amazing and valuable line. What does this genius tactic do? It makes original Lilly Lovers even more in love with the real deal, and creates new Lilly Lovers -- those who may never have owned a "traditional" piece of Lilly -- practically overnight.
And like me, I will forever be a Lilly Lover. I fell in love with Lilly Pulitzer years ago because I buy and sell vintage clothing. You can't beat beauty and quality. Pulitzer had this quality in the 1950s and 60s and the line has it today. (And if -- no WHEN -- I find vintage Lilly, you may find me in the hospital, due to hyperventilation. Fair warning here.)
In my book, Lilly Pulitzer for Target is genius. Genius thinking full of pink and green and flowers and flamingos. True, I got a few pieces at Target a couple days ago. But if I hadn't, I would be headed over to their new "real" Spring Line, which just came out, and figure out how long it would take for me to save up to buy my next shift dress.
Despite the criticism and backlash from everyone else, I say, well done Lilly Pulitzer. Well done.
You've made a Lilly Lover out of me (which I already was) forever more.
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