In February 1978, when the flawless Gia Carangi arrived in New York at the age of barely eighteen, she had already landed a contract with one of the most prestigious modelling agencies in the world. The future that lay before her seemed dazzling. Blessed with a magnetic beauty and a unique personality, the young Philadelphia native reached the peak of success in only a few months, quickly joining the elite ranks of “supermodels.” One of the most requested models in her field, Gia appeared regularly in such magazines as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. For all intents and purposes, Gia’s life quickly became a fairy tale-or so it seemed. In only a few years, Gia’s destiny was complicated by unscrupulous individuals and by her inability to manage her cataclysmic success. Once on that road, the legendary model began a decline that led to her tragic end. Born This Way brings to light never-before-heard stories and unusual memories of Gia, offering new perspectives on her life, career, and personality. Through these previously unpublished accounts by those who knew and worked with Gia, Lanvin shines a spotlight on the woman herself, peering beneath the fast-lane glamor and the fame to capture the true essence of a supermodel who continues to mesmerize the world even decades after her death.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Having had a period of my life where I was quite fascinated with models of this era, I read just about everything that Janice Dickinson wrote, I was delighted to be approached and asked by Sacha Lanvin Baumann to read her novel about Gia Carangi. This is not a biography it is an insight, a short and tragic glimpse of Gia, who lost her battle for life on 18th November 1986 at the age of only 26.
At just under 5’8″ tall, when most models were head and shoulders taller, she broke the mould to become what most considered the very first Super Model. If anything she was an accidental model, it wasn’t a career choice but a profession that chose her, as a shy 17 year old she transformed into another persona at the front of the camera.
Sacha Lanvin Baumann’s novel is a beautifully constructed work of art in itself with interviews from such a very wide circle of people that knew Gia, from agents, to photographers, to fellow models of the time, to close friends and lovers. Each one telling stories of what she meant to them and what she was like at different stages of her career and life. These are very personal accounts which are easy to determine how close the relationships were. It was a time of drugs and the start of aids when no-one really knew anything about it.
I was fascinated by this book and I felt that the author gave a very balanced insight into Gia’s life. There were very positive accounts of this young woman, a woman that knew what she wanted and had a small circle of close friends that she allowed to know her. There were also tales of how the drugs affected her and took over her life. It seemed true friends are rare at such times, association could ruin careers. Very well constructed. So very pleased to have read this book that has a brutal honesty about it.