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Michael Neumann, 551 Fifth Ave, Aug. 16, 2012
At 45th and Fifth, retailer Tommy Bahama is opening its first international flagship in November. We visited the spot—the first and second floors of The Feil Organization's historical Fred F. French Building—with Michael Neumann Architecture's Michael Neumann(noteworthy gigs: Ralph Lauren stores and Ralph's residence), whose charge was to make the brand's relaxation vibe fit in on NYC's hurried Fifth Avenue (that larger-than-life cocktail on the construction site's barricade signage should help). What's different about this store is that it's got more bar (1,300 SF) and restaurant space (6,500 SF) than retail (5,000 SF).
John Schultz, Steve Redding, and Michael Neumann at Tommy Bahama, 551 Fifth Ave, on Aug. 16, 2012
What the brand is really after is lifestyle, and while we were there, as if on cue, regional manager John Schultz and GM Steve Redding dropped by to check on progress—both wearing Tommy Bahama.
Tommy Bahama, 551 Fifth Ave, Aug. 31, 2012
Here's the latest barricade signage that just went up. Michael's firm had to work within the landmarked building's facade and incorporate Tommy Bahama's island-chic into NYC's urban sensibility (we don't see the challenge—Manhattan is an island, after all). So inside are local touches like wood reclaimed from the Coney Island boardwalk.