Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Her Granddaughter to Become a Swimwear Designer

"When I initially began to conceptualize Strong Boalt, she helped me with all of my designs, prints and colors."

Strong Boalt.

Strong Boalt. (Photo: Courtesy Strong Boalt)

Amanda Boalt Coleman, Lilly Pulitzer’s granddaughter, has her own men’s swimwear line, where her lineage is visible through every pattern. The luxury resort wear brand was founded in 2009, and has become a mainstay in southern vacation spots. Strong Boalt is inspired by Pulitzer’s iconic prints, but they are updated for the modern day. Coleman lived in New York for two years before departing for the more tropical Palm Beach. While in the city, she worked as a menswear buyer at Ralph Lauren and saw an opportunity in swimwear. Coleman wanted to continue and expand upon the legacy of Lilly Pulitzer–and now, she’s considering creating a women’s line.

“My grandmother has unequivocally influenced my work. When I initially began to conceptualize Strong Boalt, she helped me with all of my designs, prints and colors,” Coleman said about Pulitzer. “Some of my fondest childhood memories come from time spent at her home, which she shared with my Cuban grandfather, Enrique Rousseau. They were always hosting colorful parties attended by vibrant personalities. I will continuously hear her voice stressing fun over everything else. While the style of Strong Boalt may be more attuned to our time, Lilly’s unique approach has influenced my classic aesthetic and will continue to do so.”

Strong Boalt swimwear.

Strong Boalt swimwear. (Photo: Courtesy Strong Boalt)

Coleman’s inspiration comes from her grandmother, and from traveling, especially on quick boat rides to the Bahamas from Florida “I get a lot of inspiration from the island’s warm weather, beautiful tropical beaches and crystal blue water. A brief trip on a small boat to Memory Rock in the Bahamas to spear Hog Snapper is a remarkably cathartic way to spend the day and conceptualize new prints,” she told the Observer, describing an enviable vacation.

Still, her ultimate inspiration comes from her home base. “Palm Beach has such an iconic style; I can’t help but incorporate the colorful, sporty yet classic ambiance of this timeless town. The Palm Beach sense of style certainly has evolved over the years, becoming more casual and effortless, but still reflecting its formal roots.” Her line can be spotted at resorts, hotels and boutiques, with the most recent shop a brick and mortar locale on Palm Beach. “I design for men who don’t take themselves too seriously, but are seriously well dressed,” Coleman announced. And isn’t that what Lilly Pulitzer would have wanted?

Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Her Granddaughter to Become a Swimwear Designer