Gia Carangi Biography, Age, Height, Career, Net worth, Affairs, Death & MorePosted By: Ejaz Abbasi | February 27, 2019
Gia Carangi Biography:
Gia Carangi beauty is intrinsic to the human eye as we are drawn towards the symmetry of faces and bodies of enviable proportions. The industry of fashion and modeling portrays the power that beauty has in our lives and how it influences us. People will look anyway, so we better make it worth their while. This is the mindset that made fashion into a billion dollar industry. Now, we see beautiful faces glaring at us with their overwhelming charm and selling us one thing or another. And that is the hardest thing in a model’s career – to maintain that charm no matter what. Gia Carangi biography is something that every aspiring model should read to learn about that.
Today, modeling is a profitable career that everyone wants to work in but don’t realize the heavy price tagged on it. It is really hard to be perfect and remain perfect. Modeling is about selling an idea or an illusion with letting your own secrets out. The art of modeling is hard to learn but Gia Carangi is one such model who was born talented. Gia Carangi achieved a global acceptance by the viewers from all around the world at a very young age. She is dubbed as the world’s first supermodel and here the story is rather fascinating. If you want to know more, keep reading the Gia Carangi biography.
Gia Carangi Childhood:
Gia Carangi is the world’s first supermodel to gain a multi-national recognition in the fashion industry. She was born on 29 January 1960 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U. S. Born to the restaurant owner Joseph Carangi and a homemaker Kathleen Carangi, she was the youngest in her family. Gia’s parents had a violent and unstable relationship which affected her personality as well. Her mother left her family leaving her even year old daughter bereft of the motherly love.
Gia Carangi’s rough childhood made her an attention seeker. She was described as manipulative and needy by many of her relatives. Some of them also said that Gia Carangi was spoiled and a moody little girl. She attended the Abraham Lincoln High School and fulfilled the lack of attention by making as many friends as possible. She joined a fan club at her high school dedicated to David Bowie the English singer and songwriter. The club was called ‘the Bowie kids’ and they used to emulate the weird high glam style of David Bowie.
Gia Carangi Career:
Gia Carangi began her modeling career by posing for the local newspaper ads in her hometown Philadelphia. A local photographer asked her for her pictures posing on the dance floor and she agreed. The photographer worked for the Bloomingdales, a New York departmental store. After her little success, she set on to make a career in the modeling industry after moving to New York. She was just 17 at the time when she was signed by the fashion agency, Wilhelmina Models.
Working with Wilhelmina models, Gia Carangi posed for the famous fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim in October 1978. He had Gia pose nude while standing behind the chain-link fence and this was the look that made her famous. She immediately became a well-established model just one year after moving to New York.
Gia Carangi became the favorite face for many of the top fashion photographers in the Industry. She became the favorite model of successful and famous photographers like Francesco Scavullo, Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, Von Wangenheim, Denis Piel, and Marco Glaviano. She built a very strong network very quickly and was featured on the cover of many fashion magazines. Gia Carangi became famous for her moody attitude and dark looks. She was the queen of fashion in the late 70s and ruled through the early 80s until her sudden death in 1986.
Gia Carangi Magazine Covers:
Gia Carangi had a knack for posing for the magazine covers and making bold fashion statements. She was the favorite model of the giants of the fashion magazines. Gia posed for Vogue UK for the April 1979 issue. She also posed for the April 1979 and August 1980 issues of Vogue Paris. Gia Carangi also appeared on the cover of American Vogue. She also became famous in Italy by appearing in the Vogue Italia in the February 1981 issue. She hit a jackpot in terms of her contract with Cosmopolitan. Gia kept featuring in several issues of Cosmopolitan form 1979 to 1982.
Gia Carangi Ad Campaigns:
The career of the beautiful and stunning model Gia Carangi escalated really quickly. She reached a lot of height in a very short amount of time while many struggles to get one major shoot done. Gia Carangi immediately became the trusted face for many expensive brands including Armani. Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion designer founded his own firm named after his own name in 1982. The company made a deal with the rising supermodel in the world of fashion, Gia Carangi to advertise what they had to offer. Both were still new in fashion and their collaboration made them very successful.
Gia Carangi was also endorsed by big brands like Bloomingdale’s, Citicorp, Cutex, Christian Dior, Perry Ellis, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lancetti, Maybelline, Yves Saint Laurent, Vidal Sasson, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, and Levi Strauss & Co. Carangi was the favorite model and a very dear friend of Francesco Scavullo, who was the Cover Photographer for the Cosmo for 30 years.
Gia the World’s First Supermodel:
Before the term ‘Supermodel’ was even coined in the fashion industry, Gia Carangi became one. She made her debut when she was just 17. She was a beautiful high school girl of 5ft 8in and dress size 8-10. Her stats were 34-24-35. She found her luck when the photographer from the Bloomingdales discovered her while traveling through Philadelphia in 1978. Just one year later, she had settled in New York and she had made her career as a well-established model. The dark melancholic beauty of Italian heritage became the new kind of wild child that no one had seen before.
Gia could dress in men’s clothing. She would pose nude if that’s what it takes. Gia would walk out of her photo shoots if she didn’t feel like doing it. She would cancel two weeks of bookings through her schedule if her hair wasn’t cut the way she wanted. Gia stood out the most as an exact opposite of the regular blonde blue-eyed models in the industry at that time. In fact, Gia Carangi was so successful that she could find any time off her schedule for any hobbies or other things. At a very young age, she had already appeared on the covers of both Cosmo and Vogue in Britain, Italy, France, and America.
Gia Carangi Net Worth:
She became extremely successful at the age of 19. Her dark melancholic Italian looks took the fashion industry with a storm. All of the big magazine in the fashion industry including Cosmo, Vogue, and Glamour couldn’t get enough of her. She even did drugs and addicted to heroin but no one cared as drugs were glamorous at that time. Her attitude loved by the photographers as its something new and edgy that no one else had.
Her net worth is still undetermined, but Gia Carangi made $10,000 a day for a fashion shoot. If it hadn’t been for her drug addiction she could have ruled the fashion world for years to come. As her drug addiction was keeping her from her full potential as a fashion model. She even got HIV AIDS due to a shared syringe with a companion while doing heroin. Gia used to work for the Wilhelmina High fashion agency and their fashion models earn an average salary of $520,000 as of 2017.
Gia Carangi Sexuality & Love Life:
The world’s first supermodel Gia Carangi stood out the most for being an oddball. She was unique in her looks, style, and attitude towards fashion. Her fame took over the world in a very short amount of time. She could wear men’s clothing and even pose naked if she needed to. On top of all that, she was a lesbian and was interested in women. The main reason that her sexuality was also the focus for many was that she never tried to hide it.
When gay people started accepted by society, many people came out of closets as they were confused, embarrassed or bullied. But Gia felt like she never in one. She never even confused about her desires as she used to send flowers to the girls she had a crush on in her high school. She pursued girls she liked and sent them gifts. It Gia’s charm that no one could turn down the offer of being friends with her whether they were gay or not. She dated many women during her career and mostly her makeup artists including Sandy Linter and Elyssa Stewart. But her relationships were never stable.
Gia Carangi Facts:
- Gia Carangi was a David Bowie fanatic. She joined a club at her high school named ‘the Bowie kids’. She never missed a single album or a concert performance by the English musician.
- At the peak of her career at the age of 19, Gia Carangi made $10,000 per day for a single photo shoot and she used to just walk out of the studio if she didn’t feel like posing that day. She got famous for her rebel attitude and photographers liked to capture that flare in their photographers.
- The fact that Gia was a drug addict is nothing new to the world. But Gia had surgery on her hand as she had injected herself with drugs on the same spot for so many times, that an open infected tunnel going through her skin into her veins.
- Gia Carangi a scheduler and she scheduled all of her daily activities and plans. And getting Heroin was one of her important plans for the day. She used to set a specific time during the day to “Get Heroine” as she wrote in her diary.
- Gia arrested in 1981 for driving under the influence of cocaine and heroin. Her addiction to narcotics got her in trouble on several occasions.
- Gia Carangi blacklisted from modeling as the fashion editors that Gia covered in track marks indicating the alarming situation of her drug addiction.
- Gia Carangi died in her hometown at the age of 26 while working as a cashier in 1986. She became one of the first women to die of AIDS in the USA.
Gia Carangi Rock Band:
- The rock band ‘Fabulous Disaster’ released a song dedicated to Gia and her life story in their album named ‘Put Out or Get Out’. The song even named after her name and released in 2001.
- Gia Carangi’s last magazine cover shot for Cosmopolitan in 1982. It was a gift from the photographer Francesco Scavullo who the only friend that Gia had in her last days.
- Gia Carangi the face of big brands like Armani, Versace and Christian Dior for three years straight from 1979 to 1982.
- There is also a book based on the world’s first supermodel’s life. The book was titled ‘Thing of Beauty’ inspired from the first verses of ‘Endymion’, a poem by John Keats. The book was written by Stephen Fried and published in 1993.
- Gia Carangi’s favorite party place the Studio 54 nightclub which opened in 1927. Studio 54 is located at 254 West 54th Street New York and it converted into a Broadway theatre.
- Cindy Crawford dubbed as the ‘Baby Gia’ the year Gia Carangi died. Due to striking resemblance between their styles and the fact that Cindy shoots to success the same year Gia died.
- Gia Carangi also has a movie on her life in which her role is played by the world-famous actor, Angelina Jolie. The movie directed by Michael Cristofer and released on 31 January 1998. Angelina Jolie won three awards for her amazing performance including the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance.
Gia Carangi Family Tree:
Joseph Carangi was the father of the world’s first supermodel Gia Carangi. He was an Italian settled in America. Joseph Carangi was a small restaurant owner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Gia’s parents had a very unstable relationship when Gia was born. Her parents had a violent marriage which tainted by the memories of her childhood. Gia lived with her father as her mother had left the family. She used to work as a cashier at her dad’s restaurant after school. Gia lived with her until high school and then she moved to New York to pursue a career in modeling.
The name of Gia Carangi’s mother was Kathleen Carangi who worked as a homemaker. Kathleen had a huge influence on the life of the world’s first supermodel. Every decision that Gia made somewhat influenced by the thought of her mother.
Kathleen Left her Family:
Kathleen and Joseph had a violent marriage because of which Kathleen left her family. She abandoned Gia when she was just eleven years old and that emptiness had seeped through the psyche of that child. Gia’s lack of motherly attention turned her into an attention seeker. So she tried to stand out and befriend as many people as she could.
Gia Carangi was the third and last child of Joseph and Kathleen. She had two elder brothers Joe Carangi and Michael Carangi. The two brothers loved their younger sister and were quite protective of her. Three siblings were very close in their childhood. But as they grew up, they all sort of fell apart as they all had their own problems and their own careers. Michael told in an interview with biographer after Gia’s death that,
“The biggest mistake we made was that nobody went up there with her. She could’ve used a friend.”
Gia Carangi Drug Addiction and AIDS:
Gia Carangi had an attitude along with her dark melancholic looks. She was bold and she could pose however she had to if she was in a good mood. At the peak of her career, she walked out of a photo session if she didn’t felt like it. She partied a lot and was a regular at the Studio 54-nightclub. She did whatever she wanted and many photographers liked to capture that flare in their photos.
In the early 80s when doing cocaine and heroin was glamorous, Gia developed a serious drug addiction. Even with so much fame and success, she felt alone and found no one to talk intimately. Her relationships were unstable. Her schedule was busy. She found drugs as a way to escape but that became the tragedy of her life.
Carangi Drug Addict:
Gia was a drug addict at the age of 21 and was having a very hard time due to the drugs. She arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Gia blacklisted as the fashion editors had already noticed the track marks on her body that became much obvious in front of the camera. She had injected herself so many times in the same spot that she had to undergo surgery on her hand. There an open infected tunnel going from her skin deep into her veins. She didn’t find much offers and what she did, were ruined by her falling asleep on set.
Gia was moody from the very first day but her mood swings became more and more frequent every day. She either threw tantrums on set or fell asleep. Gia walked out of the photo shoot to buy cocaine. She scheduled to buy heroin in her diary but couldn’t even spell it correctly. One producer even supplied her with heroin and cocaine to get the shoot done. But being HIV positive had the worst effect as she stopped having any offers. She got AIDS while sharing a syringe with a fellow heroin addict.
Gia Carangi Attempted Comebacks:
Gia Carangi reached heights in her career very quickly and her decline was also very sharp. Even then, she determined to make a comeback while struggling with drugs. Gia admitted to several rehabilitation programs and intense drug treatments. Everything worked for a while but could keep Gia away from drugs for too long.
Gia Carangi had become a disaster but some clients were still willing to hire her. It all because of her past status. She worked with Albert Watson and found some work as a model for department stores and catalogs. Photographer Richard Avedon hired her for Versace’s next advertisement campaign but he couldn’t take any usable photos as Gia left the studio.
Gia Carangi Death:
Gia had lost it and it was all thanks to her fractured past and loneliness that led her to the path of drugs. She left New York in 1983 and spent the last three years of her life with several friends, family, and lovers. She found work as a checkout clerk in the cafeteria of a nursing home. Just when Gia was doing a little better with her rehabilitation, she started using drugs again in 1985. Gia Carangi admitted to War minister General Hospital in June 1986 with Bilateral Pneumonia.
Just a few days later, she with the AIDS-related complex. She admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital on 18 October 1986. At the age of 26, Gia Carangi died a young death due to AIDS-related complications on 18 November 1986.
Gia’s funeral held on 23 November in her hometown Philadelphia. The news of her death didn’t reach the fashion industry on time. Therefore, no one from the fashion industry was there for the farewell of the world’s first supermodel. Gia’s friend and confidence, Francesco Scavullo sent a Mass card when the news reached his ears. The model who defined an era of fashion had died because of her drug addiction.