A month ago, Lilly Pulitzer was in the spotlight for selling out within minutes after their line launched at Target. People were lined outside the store for hours and Target’s website could barely handle all the traffic. Some customers were irate they were too late to buy anything, others jumping for joy about their new purchases. There was nothing too negative about #LillyforTarget besides the fact it was so limited. Now, the famous brand is making the news for an unfortunate reason. The internet exploded Tuesday morning after an employee had fat shaming cartoons hanging at their desk.
Lilly Pulitzer is headquartered right outside of Philadelphia in King of Prussia. The employee had extremely upsetting cartoons saying things such as “Put it down, carb face.” It wasn’t long before the social media and news outlets got the word of this. This is a PR crisis that won’t be an easy fix. Discrimination against weight is a topic that sparks a lot of conversation in the fashion world. It is no secret how many women suffer from body image issues because of size 0 models and clothing lines. Their VP of Creative Communications issued an apology explaining these cartoons of one employee do not reflect the company’s values.
Hopefully this employee will be terminated and the company can move forward with launching exciting items that make females excited to buy their clothes. Plus size clothing is something really breaking through recently. It was announced that Melissa McCarthy will be launching a new plus size clothing line and Tess Holliday was recently the first plus sized model signed to a mainstream modeling agency.
During a crisis workshop in class, we learned an immediate apology from one main spokesperson is always important. Termination of this employee will make a lot of people happy, proving to the public they do not tolerate such hate towards other women. As a female clothing line it is upsetting to see discrimination targeting other women. It will be interesting to look out for ways Lilly Pulitzer plans on addressing this crisis from a PR standpoint. #Lillyforallsizes?
This blog post was written by PRowl Director of Finance Gabrielle Lacherza