Byline: Rusty Williamson

DALLAS — Dolce & Gabbana’s first freestanding store in North America, which opened Thursday at the Galleria in Houston, is projected to ring up $2 million for the year, according to owner Phillip Markey.
“Everybody is asking why Houston first? But Dolce & Gabbana have a very fashionable following here,” said Markey. “Houston is quite an international city and is very diversified. Lots of Latin American, European and Middle and Far East companies do business here.”
“It was a real coup for us.”
The 2,000-square-foot shop, seen hitting $1,000 in sales per square feet this year, marks an ambitious retail agenda by the Italian design duo.
Markey plans to unveil a second Dolce & Gabbana boutique in Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza this fall. The 2,800-square-foot store is expected to do $2.8 million its first year.
A Dolce & Gabbana spokeswoman in New York said a corporate-owned store is expected to open in New York within a year, and one in Los Angeles is also being planned.
A three-level London boutique, at 4,300 square feet, debuted this month. Other stores are in Milan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Jeddah. The Houston store carries women’s and men’s apparel as well as accessories. It was designed by Claudio Nardi Associates, Florence, Italy, and hasmarble inlay limestone floors, stainless steel and glass fittings and Baroque antique furniture.
Markey is a majority stockholder in Versus by Gianni Versace and Gianni Versace collection boutiques at the Houston Galleria and a Versace store in Atlanta. His eponymous designer men’s wear store, called Markey, also is in Houston.