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What’s Wrong with the Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collection?

An expensive line selling clothes for cheap? Who wouldn’t love that? A lot of people, apparently. When Lilly Pulitzer announced last week that it would be producing a line for Target, many Lilly fans were not pleased. Twitter exploded with angry messages, claiming that this would cheapen the brand, as they worried about its new, increasingly accessible status.

There are a number of problems with the Lilly for Target critics. Firstly, commenters who are worried that it will make the brand “cheap” or less respectable in some way need to consider the sheer number of leading brands and designers that have collaborated with Target in the past. Few would argue that Jason Wu, Zac Posen or Phillip Lim lost credibility after their highly successful Target partnerships. If anything, it increased the public’s awareness of the brands and influenced potential future consumers.

If you really like Lilly, it seems that you’d be happy to see the brand succeed and become more accessible. Reactions like these beg the question: do these people like Lilly for aesthetic reasons, or because owning something expensive makes them feel that they are somehow better than others? Class and style shouldn’t come at a price.

Perhaps we all need to take a moment to remember the brand’s namesake in her own words: “Style isn’t about what you wear, it’s about how you live.” —Lilly Pulitzer

Zoë Randolph

UC Berkeley '15

Since graduating, Zoë's served as a content marketer for non-profits and tech startups. She worked remotely and traveled the world full-time with her fiancé before becoming a freelance writer and settling (at least for now) in Montréal, Quebec. She likes reading good books, learning new things, and watching Real Housewives argue on TV. You can keep up with her writing over at zoerandolph.com.
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