NEW YORK — After 49 years in business, Lilly Pulitzer has finally found a pad in Manhattan.

The brand, rooted in Palm Beach, Fla., and now based in King of Prussia, Pa., has signed a lease for its first Manhattan store at 1020 Madison Avenue. The space, which is occupied by high-end kitchen designer Clive Christian, is 3,700 square feet, spread out over two floors.

“For the past 15 years we have been actively looking for a space in New York and we just never found what we were looking for,” said James Bradbeer Jr., president of Lilly Pulitzer. “We knew we were on to something good when we discovered 1020 Madison was right next to a juice stand. [The brand] all started with a juice stand in Palm Beach 49 years ago, so we really believe finding this location was meant to be.” The juice stand is run by a Serafina restaurant.

The store, which will open in May, is located between 78th and 79th Streets, and its neighbors will include Intermix and a new J. Crew Collection store, which is planned for a spring opening.

Bradbeer said the store will provide consumers the fullest expression of Lilly Pulitzer’s vision, offering all categories, including women’s, children’s and men’s apparel, accessories, shoes, gifts, home, fragrance and some special items exclusive to that location.

In other Lilly Pulitzer news, Bradbeer said the company has made its first move into selling internationally. The brand last month launched at Harrods in London, marking its entrance into Europe. The Lilly Pulitzer collection at Harrods includes women’s and children’s apparel.

“By expanding our distribution to Europe for the first time, we are not only making a statement about our commitment to the growth of our brand, but we are offering consumers the Lilly shopping experience they’ve never been able to have in Europe,” Bradbeer said. “We know our Lilly lovers are vacationing, living and shopping in London and it’s no secret that Harrods is London’s favorite shopping destination, so we felt this was an important step to take.”

Lilly Pulitzer produces apparel for women, children and men, accessories, gifts and footwear, a bedding and bath collection, and two books on entertaining, all inspired by the Palm Beach lifestyle.

This story first appeared in the March 5, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In addition to the new directly owned flagship opening in New York, there are 75 licensed Lilly Pulitzer shops in communities across the country. Lilly Pulitzer also operates company-owned stores in locations including Greenwich, Conn.; Key West, Fla.; White Plains, N.Y.; King of Prussia, Pa.; Dallas, Austin and Houston in Texas, and San Diego. The brand has a significant wholesale business in department and specialty stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.