An exclusive first look at the Phineas Cole shop-in-shop

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It might be a strange time to spend good money on expanding a second line, but don’t tell the folks at Paul Stuart. Today, the 70-year-old clothier unveiled its 700-square-foot Phineas Cole shop-in-shop at a front corner of the flagship Madison Avenue store. “We don’t see ourselves as impervious to the economy,” says merchandising director Sandy Neiman. “We just think now is the right time.” Stalwart fans of the old dark-wood, insular bastion of civility might be shocked by the installation of large corner windows, which open up the suiting, shirting, and sportswear shop to the rest of the world. But well-appointed details like a leather parquet floor and handmade papier-mâché mannequins (the heads were rendered from archival Paul Stuart advertising images) should provide some comfort and continuity. “The store’s always been a club,” Neiman says. “Phineas is just a club with more light.” (Along with slimmer cuts, peaked lapels, hacking pockets, double-breasted shawl-collared vests, and cutaway shirt collars, we might add.)

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