Some men just don’t enjoy shopping for clothing—a perfect suit for an important event or casual wear for weekends—and, considering the options, it’s easy to see why. The selection at department stores can be overwhelming, with rarely a helpful associate nearby, while online shopping offers no guarantee for fit, meaning men end up settling for something that may need to be returned or tailored, thereby requiring another trip and added cost. If only there was a better solution …
It turns out there is, and you don’t need to go into the city to find it.
Giovanni’s Fine Fashions & Custom Tailoring in Newtown provides a personalized shopping experience, presenting customers with a selection of high-end brands and an attention to detail that is hard to find. This business model stems from owner Gina-Maria Santoro, who opened the store in 2014 in a space formerly occupied by another men’s clothier.
Santoro’s background is in accounting, which has led her to various positions, including team accountant and CFO for the Philadelphia Soul and controller at Mitchell & Ness, where she managed operations and sales for its retail stores and website. After getting married and settling in Ivyland with her husband, Santoro left the corporate world and traded in her commute to Philadelphia for a small retail job at a tennis shop in Newtown.
It wasn’t long before opportunity knocked. After learning that the owner of the men’s shop next door had just passed away and that the shop’s tailor, Dino DiMucci, knew her father-in-law, Santoro decided this might be the chance of a lifetime. But it wasn’t just Santoro’s many years of fashion experience that made her a good fit.
“My husband is a physician and he likes to be properly dressed for work—shirt, tie, dress pants—so I would shop for him at Nordstrom in Cherry Hill or King of Prussia,” she says. “I wanted to bring this type of product into Newtown.”
Giovanni’s carries the upper echelon of men’s designer fashion brands, including 7 for All Mankind, Southern Tide, Robert Graham and Peter Millar—which no one else carries locally—among others. From dress pants and denim to casual sweaters and custom-made suits, not to mention accessories such as ties and belts, men can find what they need for any occasion in a relaxed atmosphere.
Besides offering a fine product, Giovanni’s specializes in customer service. One of the biggest differentiators is the tailor, DiMucci, whom Santoro brought on board when she started the business.
“He is a town treasure,” Santoro says. “He is known throughout town for his excellent work and craftsmanship. He can customize a pair of pants so it fits that individual flawlessly. You can buy pants anywhere, but if you purchase them here the alterations are on us and Dino will make them look like they were custom ordered.”
It doesn’t stop there. The staff at Giovanni’s is always willing to go the extra mile for clients. Santoro recounts a time one client needed something to wear to a wedding, down to the shoes and belt.
“He put everything in our hands, but we don’t sell shoes, so I asked him his shoe size and while his alterations were being worked on, I ran to another store and picked out three different pairs of shoes to give him some options,” she says. “Whatever he didn’t choose, I would return so he didn’t need to worry about making another trip.”
Giovanni’s is also able to order something special if they don’t carry it, and if a customer can’t physically make it into the store for measurements, the staff is more than happy to make a house call. It’s also not just for adults. Rather, it’s “a multigenerational store,” Santoro says, offering everything from communion suits and prom looks to wedding attire.
“I am originally from South Jersey, and when I moved to Bucks County I didn’t know many people,” she says. “The community, the customers are amazing, and they go above and beyond to make us feel welcome. I couldn’t imagine having a business anywhere else.”
Giovanni’s Fine Fashions & Custom Tailoring
28 S. State Street
Photography by Jody Robinson
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, May 2018.