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Fashion / Style File

Style DNA

Giuseppe Zanotti

BY // 04.01.15

Ciao, Mr. Zanotti! White marble flooring and sleek white walls slashed with gray metal and brass let Giuseppe Zanotti’s fierce footwear do the talking in his new Highland Park Village boutique. Zanotti’s first store in Texas stocks the Italian label’s handbags, jewelry, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, and men’s shoes and sneakers, but it’s the women’s jeweled sky-high heels and Italian Riviera-inspired sandals that are the heartbeat of Zanotti. With more than 100 boutiques around the world, there’s more to love. And love we do. Zanotti, who celebrates his birthday this month, shares why he has his eye on Dallas, sole-searches about his idyllic childhood in the Italian countryside and sneak-peeks what we can look forward to for fall.

Taking over Texas.
This year, we are planning a number of openings in the U.S. — in Dallas, of course, as well as in Houston. Texas is becoming a hub of luxury brands. When I went to Dallas for the first time, I was impressed by the women’s glamorous taste, and I am honored to have a lot of supporters and brand ambassadors in the region already.

What’s now.
My inspiration is in constant evolution. I like to absorb the energy around me, from the street to arts like music and design. For the Spring/Summer 2015 women’s collection, I was inspired by the ’70s and the hues of nature: chunky heels, wooden platforms, suede fringed and lace-up boots along with seashell-, turquoise- and coral-embellished sandals. For men’s, I wanted to experiment with something totally new: sneakers made of unusual materials and innovative designs, fringed moccasins and raw-leather sandals.

Next steps.
The Fall/Winter 2015/2016 collection mood is AristoCrazy — aristocratic elegance combined with daring elements.

Homegrown inspiration.
I was born and raised in a town that is a famous Italian shoe district [San Mauro Pascoli]. To design shoes was a natural evolution. The first shoes that I remember were my mother’s. I was seven or eight years old. They were a very nice pump in gray calf. I was impressed with this pump because it was very pointy, and I noticed how women’s feet could change completely just by wearing a pair of shoes.

Musical past.
When I was young, I was a radio DJ for seven years. At the time, I was very much into genres like Philadelphia soul music and funk. I have also always enjoyed jazz and disco. From that moment, music became part of my DNA and eventually a staple of my creative process.

Ideal getaway.
My house at the Seychelles is the perfect escape, but I also enjoy boating in the Mediterranean. Corsica is one of my favorite destinations — a wild and genuine place that I really love.

Favorite Italian meal.
I come from a region renowned for tasty cuisine. Since I was a child, my favorite dish has been homemade cappelletti, crudo and simply cooked fish from the Adriatic Sea.

Career highlights.
The celebration of the 20th anniversary last year was a big moment. I remember when everything started in New York at the Plaza, the first time I showed my first collection. The market at the time was very conservative, a bit boring from my perspective. But I was lucky; women and celebrities started loving my creations right away. The collaboration with Kanye West was a very exciting highlight. Kanye is a friend and great supporter. He was the first one who wore a pair of my sneakers — the best brand ambassador for my new sneaker endeavor at the time.

If shoes could talk.
A pair of shoes can tell you a lot about a woman’s personality. High heels make her feel beautiful and sexy. Flat sandals give her a modern and cool touch. Giuseppe Zanotti shoes tell a story about a woman who is self-confident, irreverent and extremely attractive.

Staying true.
Throughout my career, I have learned that my customers want to be special and unique. This is something I keep in mind while designing. I have also learned that the market is unpredictable; you never know what direction it will take you. However, there is one certainty: You must have your DNA — your own formula — and stay true to yourself.

Click here to view pics from the boutique’s opening party.

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