ON THE SUNNY SIDES: Giuseppe Zanotti sees gold in both the Texas prairie and far-flung American islands. The Italian shoe designer opened his seventh U.S. store Wednesday at Highland Park Village in Dallas, and is scheduled to debut late this month in San Juan, Puerto Rico, followed by market entries to Houston this fall and Waikiki, Hawaii, early next year, according to Alain Baum, president of the U.S. division. All except the Dallas store are situated in new shopping centers. “Business is great, and we feel America is having a very strong moment,” Baume said Thursday at the Dallas launch party. “We decided around 18 months ago to do a retail expansion. We had three stores, and by the end of ’15 we’ll have nine.”

Zanotti is also tripling the size of its Beverly Hills boutique by month’s end and unveiling a unit in Panama City in May, he said.

The designer’s gilt logo is playing a bigger role. Handbag sales more than doubled last fall when Zanotti’s golden signature was placed front and center, and one of this season’s hottest shoes is a leather wedge with Zanotti’s signature lightning bolt “G” carved into the back of its towering heel, Baume noted.

Last fall it introduced a capsule collection of leather sportswear items embellished with heavy zippers and grommets, and bold fashion jewels lavished with rhinestones debuted last spring.

Capera Ryan was one of the party guests sporting new Zanotti spike sandals. “They’re very sexy and contemporary, which is what every woman wants to be,” Ryan said. “I wear them a lot.”

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