Peabody ain’t seen nothing like Gia Ventola.
By Alyssa Giacobbe
Let’s be honest: the fashion crowd hasn’t exactly replaced Newbury Street with Route 114, even if the fancy new Northshore Mall has a Nordstrom and an H&M. But since Topsfield native Gia Ventola opened her eponymous, 3,000-square-foot clothing boutique in a Peabody office park, she’s managed to attract clients from around the world-and they’re not coming for P.F. Chang’s.
Some may remember Ventola from her first retail iteration: Gia’s World debuted in the Liberty Tree Mall in 1999, shortly after Ventola graduated from Parsons School of Design. The store sold Ventola’s own creations, most of which recalled a Madonna-influenced upbringing, including asymmetrical leather tops and plaid jeans. In 2003, a neon pink-and-white pleather pantsuit Ventola designed was picked up by Britney Spears (and, later, by Mattel for use on the Britney Spears Barbie) and a niche was born. She shuttered Gia’s World and moved to L.A. to style and design for clients like Pink, Beyonce, Wyclef Jean, and Nicole Kidman. Some of her most famous celebrity-worn pieces are now on display at the Peabody boutique.
Ventola’s new endeavor is more grown up than Gia’s World, if no less exciting. She describes her aesthetic as “sophistication with a pop,” which shows up in an always-surprising mix of imported and domestic men’s and women’s collections (graffitied tees from L.A.’s Trash & Luxury, sweet ruffled dresses by London’s Lungta de Fancy, and deconstructed trenches from Sweden’s Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair), as well as Ventola’s own denim line, which is sold throughout Japan. She’ll also do custom design work and wardrobe consultation.
“I wanted to create a place that proved you don’t have to live in L.A., Miami, or New York to have those clothes,” says Ventola, now 33. “But this isn’t just a store for rock stars. I’ve got customers from 6 to 95. Literally-one regular client showed me her license, and it said she was born in 1914.”
Gia Ventola, 9 Sylvan St., Peabody, 978-538-0800, giaventola.com.