By  on June 2, 2008

NEW YORK — Bergdorf Goodman Men last week unveiled a 1,600-square-foot Tom Ford shop that is the largest shop-in-shop in the store's history.

The space is aesthetically similar to the designer's Madison Avenue flagship, and is the latest step in the global rollout of the brand, which launched men's wear only 14 months ago. From the beginning, Tom Ford's retail strategy has been a combination of directly owned flagships, franchised flagships and department store shop-in-shops.

"Bergdorf Goodman has always been synonymous with the highest quality product and the greatest standard of service, so I am very pleased to be opening what I have been told is the largest shop ever at the Bergdorf Goodman men's store," said Ford. "Together with the team at Bergdorf Goodman, we will be able to continue building the strong global presence that our discerning luxury customer demands and deserves."

Bergdorf is the exclusive retail partner for the brand in New York. The Fifth Avenue store previously carried a narrow selection of Tom Ford's men's wear, but did not have a dedicated environment for it. The conversion of the third-floor area from "New Concepts," which held Bergdorf Goodman Collection merchandise, took nearly four months and involved William Sofield, the architect of the Tom Ford flagship.

The decorative fireplace and furniture arrangement that shoppers see upon entering the shop-in-shop help create a residential vibe. Indeed, the materials, fixtures, palette and art objects (a shagreen table here, a bonsai there) reflect those of the flagship, which in turn was inspired by the designer's London home.

The main chamber of the shop contains ready-to-wear and dress furnishings. Formalwear (which includes the signature dressing gowns) is concentrated to the left side, before a curtained-off area for fitting rooms and made-to-measure service.

"This has really raised the bar for the store and taken it to a new luxury level," said men's fashion director Tommy Fazio.

Turning to the right of the main entrance, there is an area housing shoes, leather goods, private-blend fragrances, shirts, ties and other small accessories. Beyond this is the sportswear room, which holds knitwear, wovens, outerwear, swimwear and sports coats.

Bergdorf chief executive officer Jim Gold called Ford's vision "the most innovative, comprehensive and cohesive fashion brand strategy that I had seen. He and [business partner] Domenico De Sole make a very powerful team. Tom is a genius when it comes to design and branding, and Domenico is a superb businessman. These factors, along with an exclusivity agreement, gave us the confidence to commit substantial floor space to the new Tom Ford brand."

In addition, Bergdorf Goodman Men filled its Fifth Avenue windows with Tom Ford goods last week.

Next up for the brand is a Milan flagship, opening in June during men's fashion week there. This fall, shop-in-shops will open in Neiman Marcus stores in Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, Atlanta and San Francisco. To date, Tom Ford shops have opened in Lane Crawford in Osaka, Japan; Zurich's Trois Pommes, and Daslu in São Paulo, Brazil.

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