Suzie Zuzek (American, 1920-2011) grew up on a farm near Buffalo, New York. After serving in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) during World War II, she attended Pratt Institute on the G. I. Bill. After graduating in 1949, she quickly found work in New York designing prints for both fashion and decorator fabrics, but marriage took her to Key West, Florida, in 1955. When former New Yorkers Jim Russell and Peter Pell opened their screen print factory there in 1961, she eagerly accepted a position as designer, working part-time while raising three daughters.
Over the next 23 years, Zuzek created over 1,550 designs for Key West Hand Print Fabrics, most of which were used by Pulitzer’s women’s, men’s, children’s, and home furnishings lines. It was common then and remains so today for textile designers’ contributions to fashion to remain anonymous. But the “Lilly Look” was synonymous with wild, wonderful prints, and those prints were overwhelmingly the product of Zuzek’s boundless imagination.
Between 1962 and 1985, prolific textile designer Suzie Zuzek (1920-2011) created over 1,500 designs for Key West Hand Print Fabrics in Key West, Florida, many of which were used by fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer. Cooper Hewitt’s forthcoming exhibition “Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints That Made the Fashion Brand” will feature more than 35...
In this collection, explore the colorful, nature-inspired pattern designs of Suzie Zuzek, whose vibrant prints appeared on Lilly Pulitzer fashions in the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s. Follow along to design your own repeating pattern.