Gia Carangi

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Gia Carangi was among the very first American supermodels. Due to her substance abuse and personal issues, her very promising career was cut short. In only six years as a professional model, she had accomplished a great deal. Carangi had appeared on the covers of prestigious fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Vogue. She was once the go-to model for major designers such as ‘Giorgio Armani’, ‘Gianni Versace’, ‘Maybelline’, ‘Christian Dior’, ‘Chanel’, ‘Yves Saint Laurent’, and ‘Levi Strauss & Co.’ In the early 1980s, her life took an unfortunate turn when she became addicted to cocaine, and her career quickly declined. She attempted to get sober and maintain her career but failed woefully at doing so. Later, she was diagnosed with complications related to AIDS and became one of the very first famous women to pass away from the disease. In her life, numerous television programs, documentaries, and films have been produced. A biopic titled ‘Gia’ starring Angelina Jolie was broadcast on HBO. Jolie earned an award for her performance in the biopic.

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Gia Carangi’s Career

Gia Carangi had a brief but glittering career. She was able to secure advertisements in several Philadelphia publications. This gave her optimism for a successful career in the fashion industry. Thus, she departed Philadelphia at the age of seventeen for New York City.

After relocating to New York, she joined Wilhelmina Models immediately. Within a few months, she secured her first significant photo shoot with renowned fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim. Carangi posed without clothing for Wangenheim behind a chain-link fence. The photoshoot also included Sandy Linter, with whom Carangi later developed a romantic relationship.

Her first major photo shoot garnered her widespread recognition in the fashion industry, and she went on to collaborate with a number of renowned fashion photographers, including Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, Denis Piel, and Francesco Scavullo. Carangi quickly became the “go-to girl” for the leading fashion magazine Vogue. From April 1979 to August 1980, she was featured in ‘Vogue UK’, ‘Vogue Paris’, ‘American Vogue’, and ‘Vogue Italia’.

In addition, she posed for ‘Cosmopolitan’ on multiple occasions between 1979 and 1982, and she represented top apparel brands. She represented ‘Armani’, ‘Christian Dior’, ‘Versace’, ‘Yves Saint Laurent’, ‘Levi Strauss & Co.’, and ‘Calvin Klein’.

During the peak of her career, Carangi began living a lavish and reckless lifestyle. Her frequent visits to nightclubs resulted in her consistent cocaine use. She fell victim to the substance after becoming addicted to it. Soon after, she began experiencing difficulties at work, as she frequently abandoned photo sessions and lost control of herself.

During her shoots, she would beg for drugs, making it difficult for others to control her. Carangi was discovered with needle marks in one of the issues of ‘American Vogue’ despite extensive airbrushing. Several prominent brands severed ties with her, and she struggled to find employment. She attempted rehabilitation and a revival, but neither was successful because she was unable to overcome her addiction.

Gia’s Personal Life

Gia Marie Carangi was born on January 29, 1960, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and Kathleen Carangi. Her father, Joseph, owned a restaurant, and her mother, Kathleen, used to take care of the family. Carangi’s ancestry included Italian, Welsh, and Irish ancestry. She was raised alongside two older siblings.

Her parents’ marriage was tumultuous and they fought frequently. Gia’s mother finally abandoned the family when she was eleven years old. Numerous close relatives and childhood acquaintances have stated that her drug abuse and erratic lifestyle stemmed from her troubled upbringing.

She attempted to form relationships with other teenage females when she was a teenager. She also formed relationships with a group of adolescent boys and girls who were David Bowie fans. Carangi was greatly influenced by both Bowie’s fashion statements and his outspoken stance on bisexuality when the group used to chill out together.

She attended Abraham Lincoln High School, where she developed a ‘tom-boyish’ personality. She was homosexual, but she never identified herself as a lesbian.

Gia Carangi’s Death

Gia Carangi had a difficult childhood and subsequently developed a cocaine addiction. Not only did her substance abuse destroy her career, but it also forced her into a life in which she had no control over herself. Between 1984 and 1986, she had sexual relationships with a number of her “friends and lovers.” On October 18, 1986, she was diagnosed with complications related to AIDS and confined to Hahnemann University Hospital.

Exactly one month later, she perished of AIDS-related complications, becoming one of the very first female celebrities to succumb to the disease. On November 23, none of her professional associates and colleagues were promptly notified of her passing, and she had a small funeral service in Philadelphia.

Estimated Net Worth

Gia Carangi was an American fashion model who, at the time of her demise, had a net worth of $10,000. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in January 1960, Gia Carangi passed away in November 1986. Some considered her the first supermodel, and she appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan and Vogue, as well as in advertising campaigns for Christian Dior, Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Versace.