Allentown has always been a city that made things: big things like trucks, small things like transistors, and even tasty things like beer. At assembly88, we make you look good.
assembly88 is Allentown’s newest menswear store, aimed at the mature male who wants to look smart and confident, whether in a boardroom or at a ball game. Blending the strength of the city’s manufacturing heritage with the smooth professionalism of its 21st Century renaissance, assembly88 offers something for every guy who wants to look good from 9 to 5 – and from 5 to 9.
Located in the heart of Allentown’s commercial downtown, halfway between the old Mack Trucks 4A plant and the former Neuweiler Brewery – and just a block away from the new PPL Center that is home to the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms ice hockey team – assembly88 is designed to make guys feel good about shopping. We ripped out the old walls to expose the strong brick behind them, restored the tin-roof ceiling, and tore away layers of artificial flooring to reveal the original 1892 hardwood. We dug out and blew up old photos of the city’s manufacturing heyday and we have stocked our shelves and racks with the brands guys want for today’s business world where professionalism meets stylishly casual.
The name, assembly88, is a tribute to Kramer’s Music House – the original occupant of the space at 544 Hamilton St. – and the number of keys on the pianos that were built and sold there.
assembly88 is the creation of Santo Napoli, the son of Sicilian immigrants who learned the menswear business on the streets of Reading and Allentown where his innovative retail savvy made him successful in locations that others dared not go. The co-owner of The Archive and New York Urban – both aimed at young men – is now reaching out to a new audience.
Clothing lines will range from more well-known brands such as Levi’s to more upscale lines such as Adriano Goldschmied, J Brand Denim, Tommy Bahama and Robert Graham. Accessories will include Filson and Will Leather Co. and shoe lines will include names such as Cole Haan, Johnson & Murphy 1850, Sperry and Red Wing Heritage.
“We will offer lines not available in the typical mall store. Our merchandise will have a story, a heritage, just like our customers,” Santo says. “We want assembly88 to be something different. Each of our customers is different. Each has his own style. So will we.”
After opening his first store in 1999, Santo Napoli has continued to thrive and develop his imprint on the downtown Allentown retail district. Since then, Santo has opened a second Hamilton Street retail location, and taken over chair of the Business Development Committee for downtown Allentown. Now, almost 15 years later, he is excited to share his newest creation – assembly88.