cover image Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia

Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia

Stephen M. Fried. Pocket Books, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70104-8

``Gia'' Marie Carang (1960-1986) hit the fashion world like a storm in the late 1970s, after she was discovered by model agent Wilhelmina Cooper; soon she was pictured on the covers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan , delighting photographers with her androgynous look. Relying on interviews with Gia's family and friends, freelance writer Fried details her meteoric rise and tragic fall into drug addiction and death from AIDS. Although Gia lived an independent life as a teenager, dividing her time between the Pennsylvania homes of her estranged parents and openly conducting love affairs with other young women, she evidently could not cope with the stresses of success. Fried brings to life the drug-drenched milieu of the 1980s fashion industry, but fails to dig beneath the flamboyant, rebellious attitude Gia presented to the world to provide insight into her character--although he does convey her troubled relationship with her mother. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)