Celebrity Style

Photography by Matt McCourtney January 1, 2011

The shooting star that is Gia Ventola has alighted on Sarasota with meteoric élan. Her eponymous new 6,000-square-foot boutique is brimming with the same inimitable style that earns rave reviews (and recurring Best of Boston awards) at a sister store on Beantown’s North Shore. But the Topsfield, Mass., native (who made headlines designing stage costumes for Britney Spears, Pink and Beyoncé fresh out of Parsons School of Design) is not new to Sarasota.

“I grew up as a snowbird, going back and forth from Massachusetts to Longboat Key for 28 years,” recalls Gia, who was married here at the Ringling Museum five years ago. A move to Sarasota may be on the horizon, as the designer’s parents, Jack and Diane Ventola, presently divide their time between Ipswich, Mass., and the Ritz Towers here. And Gia has video conferencing in both stores, so she can personally advise clients one-on-one.

“It’s all about putting people in the spotlight: offering VIP service and creating exclusive looks for all,” she says. “Anyone can look better, whether they’re 12 or 92. But we’re not talking crazy-expensive; we find up-and-coming designers from all over the world, and our average price point is $175 to $690.”

Gia Ventola, 610 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota (941) 373-1900

Get Gia’s Look

Vogueing assumes a life of its own with mannequins dressed by Gia with the same flair that catapulted her to celeb stylist status with the likes of stars Britney, Beyoncé, Pink and more.

Can’t live without: a huge closet. “Every woman should have an extra bedroom that’s converted into a closet. That’s my dream,” Gia confides.

What this town needs? “Gia Ventola,” she says with a laugh. “Our goal is to bring excitement to Sarasota, to create personalized looks and services that will make every customer feel like a celebrity.”

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