“You won’t believe where I am,” a grey-haired man in not-quite Gucci loafers says into his iPhone on Thursday morning. He is, in fact, in line at Bryant Park Grill, waiting for a woman holding a cardboard pink flamingo to approve his, and dozens of other women’s entry into the Lilly for Target pop-up. And yes, this man stands out from all the pink.
In January, the announcement that Lilly Pulitzer would have a collection at Target recieved mixed reactions.
“Lilly Pulitzer is turning over her grave right now that her legacy is being sold at TARGET” tweeted @ViiZamora.
And @sammimiller tweeted, “Tbh I’m not happy about Lilly for Target. What’s the point of investing in their clothes if you can just buy it for cheap at Target now.”
Plenty of New Yorkers on Thursday morning were happy to get their Lilly on the cheap.
“It’s Lilly!,” said Karin Hackett who shopped at the pop-up during a break from work at 30 Rock, “You don’t see many Lilly stores in the city and here everyone can afford it, it’s really cool!”
Another shopper, Marie, who lives in the neighborhood, waited in line almost an hour and a half to purchase towels and a wicker purse from the pop-up. “I often go to Target stores for the designers but everything is sold out,” she said.
After waiting in line, shoppers are escorted into a tent full of colorful dresses, accessories and handbags and are limited to five items a person. Dogs and toddlers in the tent didn’t seem to count for the limit.
As smiling women emerged from the pop-up, full pink shopping bags in hand, it was evident that many planned to return to the line, eschewing the shopping restriction.
Hadley, a student on Marymount Manhattan College, used a day off class to explore the perky shopping scene. “I’m from Rhode Island, where Lilly is really popular,” she said, “there aren’t a lot of opportunities to buy Lilly here.” Hadley purchased a dress and bag for $70 and noted that the biggest difference in Lilly for Target was perhaps the quality — “the fabric seemed a bit thinner.”
A Lilly Pulitzer employee commented that Target has captured the essence of the brand and she fully supports the event.
In addition to pop-up shopping, Lilly for Target has turned Bryant Park into a beachy getaway for Thursday, featuring brightly patterend hammocks and lounge chairs, a free manicure station and complimentary dixie-sized cups of orange juice.
Thursday’s Lilly Resort in Bryant Park will run until 6 p.m.
Lilly for Target will officially launch in Target stores on Sunday, April 19. Target is located at 517 E. 117th St. in Manhattan and 139 Flatbush Ave. and 1598 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn. The collection will also be sold online.