Suzie Zuzek – Wikipedia



Suzie Zuzek (1920-2011) was once an American artist and textile clothier whose paintings was once basically noticed in Lilly Pulitzer clothes from the Nineteen Sixties to the Eighties.

Early existence[edit]

Zuzek was once born Agnes Helen Zuzek in 1920, to Yugoslavian immigrant oldsters.[1][2] She grew up out of doors Buffalo, New York, and all over International Battle II served within the Ladies’s Military Auxiliary Corps.[3] Afterwards, she studied textile design on the Pratt Institute the place she was once best of her magnificence, and after graduating in 1949, went directly to paintings for a New York cloth corporate, Herman Blanc.[1][3] She married John de Poo, who got here from Key West.[1][4]

Lilly Pulitzer clothes in Zuzek prints, ca.1965 (RISD Museum)

After marriage, Zuzek left Herman Blanc and in 1955 she and her husband moved to Key West in Florida, however then separated.[3][5] This left her a unmarried mom to a few daughters.[1][6] She ultimately discovered paintings as a textile clothier for Key West Hand Print Materials, a small screen-printing corporate based in 1961 by way of a homosexual couple, Peter Pell & Jim Russell,[2][6] who had previously labored for Broadway theatre as set designers.[3][5]

In 1962 Lilly Pulitzer flew right down to Key West to find the supply of a few subject material she had discovered in different places, and positioned huge orders for 1000’s of yards of material.[3] A couple of years later, Key West Hand Prints had been supplying Pulitzer with over 5 thousand yards of customized Zuzek-designed textiles every week.[3] Pulitzer ultimately purchased out the corporate, as Zuzek’s reputedly carefree artisanal textile designs had been a key a part of her label’s symbol,[2][6] and nearly each and every Pulitzer garment was once made up in a Zuzek print.[3] Between 1962 and 1985, Zuzek produced over 1500 designs for the corporate.[2][6] Certainly one of her first textiles for Pulitzer was once worn by way of Jacqueline Kennedy at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in 1962.[3]

Flag of Key West, Florida

In spite of their obvious easy glide, Zuzek’s designs had been extraordinarily advanced, their motifs working in more than one instructions over the outside of the textile and designed to verify most protection and minimum textile wastage when chopping out clothes that used as a lot trend as conceivable.[6] Whilst Zuzek liked a naturalistic color scheme, designing each shiny plants and softly hued animals in true-to-life hues, Pulitzer had them revealed up in sturdy, colourful colors.[2] Despite the fact that Pulitzer labored nearly solely in Zuzek prints which made up 85 % of her output, she and Zuzek didn’t collaborate in particular at the designs which have been completely Zuzek’s personal and not using a enter from any individual else.[1] A few of her designs integrated a 1972 print of inexperienced and red cabbages referred to as “Cole Slaw” and “The Reef”, a 1979 underwater-themed fish and shells print.[6] Along with her paintings for Pulitzer, Zuzek designed a motif for the Key West flag, and her prints had been used for boat sails and the uniforms for the Florida Vacationer Board.[3]

In 1985 Zuzek retired from Key West Hand Prints, and her daughter Martha turned into head of the Artwork Division on the corporate.[4]

Later existence and demise[edit]

Zuzek remained in Key West, the place she persisted to color, sculpting and create ceramic paintings.[4] She died in 2011.[6][2]

In 1984, following the submitting for chapter of Lilly Pulitzer, Zuzek’s archive turned into misplaced, and was once assumed to had been thrown away within the aftermath of the chapter.[3] Within the Nineteen Nineties when Lilly Pulitzer was once revived, none of Zuzek’s designs had been introduced together with it.[3] The brand new house owners of Lilly Pulitzer didn’t purchase rights to the logo’s heritage.[1] In 2007, a St. Louis legal professional referred to as Becky Smith, whilst searching for antique Lilly Pulitzer upholstery cloth, met Martha de Poo, and was once presented to Zuzek.[4] Presently, Smith had assumed that the prints had been all designed by way of Lilly Pulitzer, which was once how that they had been at the start advertised (to Zuzek’s chagrin), and the invention that they had been nearly completely the paintings of Zuzek impressed her to lift consciousness of the textile clothier.[4] Zuzek’s archive was once rediscovered beneath the floorboards of a warehouse, and Smith liaised with de Poo, to lend a hand elevate consciousness and popularity of the Suzie Zuzek title and paintings.[3] The archive, numbering over 2500 authentic drawings, was once purchased by way of Becky Smith with the help of buyers, and correctly saved, catalogued and conserved.[3] It’s these days (as of 2022) owned by way of a personal corporate, The Unique I.P. L.L.C.[1]

In 2019 the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum curated an exhibition devoted to Zuzek’s paintings, together with her graphite and watercolour designs and drawings that includes floral motifs and a variety of novelty topics akin to animals, cosmology, and legendary creatures.[2][6] Titled “Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints That Made the Model Logo“, the display firmly positioned Zuzek’s textiles in context as a key facet of Pulitzer’s luck.[2] The curator, Susan Brown, instructed W mag that Zuzek’s paintings was once widely recognized and identified, and had had a “main have an effect on at the social historical past and the fabric tradition of the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s”, however that like many textile designers, her title had long gone unheard and unknown, and this was once an extraordinary alternative to offer her due credit score.[3] The Museum additionally completely got a gaggle of ten Zuzek drawings.[3]


Additional studying[edit]

  • Brown, Susan (2020). Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer : the artist at the back of an iconic American style emblem, 1962-1985. New York, New York: Rizzoli. ISBN 9780847867646.


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