This post has been updated.
Lilly Pulitzer is a clothing brand that provokes strong feelings, whether devotion from its uber-preppy adherents, or contempt from its critics. A photo published by New York magazine’s fashion blog The Cut, from inside the brand’s headquarters, is bound to earn it more of the latter.
The photo, part of a series showing the atmosphere in the Lilly Pulitzer office, captures two fat-shaming cartoons, one with a caption that reads, “Fat, White, and Hideous…You should probably just kill yourself,” and the other depicting a woman in a bikini beside the text, “Put It Down Carb Face.” They’re displayed on what appears to be a mood board (judging by the push pins), next to several colorful drawings and some fabric that looks to be a Lilly Pulitzer bikini top.
Once the photos went live, Twitter quickly noticed, and people were not happy.
The photos were evidently in an employee’s work space. A caption added to the photo after publication says the cartoons are “personal illustrations of an employee,” and a spokesperson for New York tells Quartz the photo was taken “in an employee’s office.”
“These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area,” Jane Schoenborn, vice president of creative communications at Lilly Pulitzer, said in a statement. “While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”
Whether or not the drawings were displayed in a public space in the Pulitzer HQ, they’re certainly public now, and do nothing to help Lilly Pulitzer’s image as being insensitive toward its plus-size customers. The brand recently drew plenty of ire when it announced that plus-size items from its collaboration with Target, a collection that drove enough interest that it crashed Target’s website, would only be available online.
This post was updated at 6:25pm with a statement from Lilly Pulitzer.