Gia Carangi


Gia Carangi was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States on January 29th, 1960 and is the Model. At the age of 26, Gia Carangi biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Other Names / Nick Names
Gia Marie Carangi, Gia
Date of Birth
January 29, 1960
United States
Place of Birth
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Death Date
Nov 18, 1986 (age 26)
Zodiac Sign
$10 Thousand
Gia Carangi Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 26 years old, Gia Carangi has this physical status:

Hair Color
Dark Brown
Eye Color
Dark Brown
Gia Carangi Religion, Education, and Hobbies
Roman Catholic
Not Available
Abraham Lincoln High School
Gia Carangi Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Not Available
Not Available
Dating / Affair
Chris von Wangenheim, Sandy Linter, Francesco Scavullo, Mickey Rourke, Elyssa Golden, Rob Fay
Joseph Carangi, Kathleen Carangi
Michael Carangi (Older Brother), Joe Carangi (Older Brother)
Other Family
Giovanni/John Carangi (Paternal Grandfather), Lucy Menichella (Paternal Grandmother), George R. Adams (Maternal Grandfather), Helen Virginia Ball (Maternal Grandmother)
Gia Carangi Life

Gia Marie Carangi (January 29, 1960 – November 18, 1986) was an American model during the late 1970s and 1980s.

Carangi's modeling career plummeted after she was considered by some as the first supermodel, appeared on the front of fashion magazines, including several editions of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, and appeared in advertising campaigns for such fashion houses as Armani, Christian Dior, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent.

She died of AIDS-related illness at the age of 26, becoming one of the first popular women to die from the disease.

In the television film Gia, starring Angelina Jolie, which premiered on HBO in 1998, she was dramatized.

Early life and education

Carangi was born in Philadelphia in 1960, the third and youngest child of Joseph Carangi, a restauranteur, and Kathleen Carangi (née Adams), a homemaker. She had two older brothers. Her father was Italian, and her mother was of Irish and Welsh descents. Joseph and Kathleen had an unhappy, volatile marriage that eventually led to Kathleen's departure when Carangi was eleven years old. Gia's relatives recalled her as "spoiled and timid" as a child and a "mommy's girl" who did not get the motherly attention she craved. Many who knew Gia blamed her "fractured childhood" for the instability and heroin use that plagued her adult life.

Carangi found the love she sought from other teenage girls in her adolescent years, befriending them by sending flowers. Carangi met "the Bowie kids" at Abraham Lincoln High School, a group of devoted David Bowie followers who imitated Bowie's "defiantly weird, high-glam" style. Carangi was attracted to Bowie for his fashion choices, his ambiguous gender play, and outspoken bisexuality. One of Carangi's friends later described her "tomboy persona" as resembling Cay's in the 1985 film Desert Hearts, with her increased sense of her sexuality as reminiscent of the character Cay. Carangi and her "bi-try Bowie-mad" friends hung out in Philadelphia's gay clubs and bars. Despite being affiliated with the lesbian community, she did not want to adopt "the accepted lesbian style."


Gia Carangi Career


After being featured in Philadelphia newspaper ads and being discovered by Sondra Scerca in Maurice Tannenbaum's hair salon, Carangi moved to New York City at the age of 17, where she signed with Wilhelmina Models. Her first major shoot, published in October 1978, was with top fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim, who had her pose nude behind a chain-link fence with makeup artist Sandy Linter. Carangi immediately became infatuated with Linter and pursued her, though the relationship never became stable. By the end of 1978, her first year in New York, Carangi was already a well-established model. Of her quick rise to prominence, described by Vogue as "meteoric", Carangi later said, "I started working with very good people, I mean all the time, very fast. I didn't build into a model, I just sort of became one."

Carangi was a favorite model of various fashion photographers, including Von Wangenheim, Francesco Scavullo, Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, and Denis Piel. Well-integrated within the fashion world, she had the selection of several photographers, most notably Scavullo. Carangi was featured on the cover of many fashion magazines, including the April 1979 issue of British Vogue, the April 1979 and August 1980 issues of Vogue Paris, the August 1980 issue of American Vogue, the February 1981 issue of Vogue Italia, and multiple issues of Cosmopolitan between 1979 and 1982. During these years, she also appeared in various advertising campaigns for high-profile fashion houses, including Armani, André Laug, Christian Dior, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent. At the height of her career, Carangi was most known in modeling circles by only her first name. During this time, she also appeared in the Blondie music video for "Atomic".

A regular at Studio 54 and the Mudd Club, Carangi usually used cocaine in clubs. After her agent, mentor, and friend Wilhelmina Cooper, died of lung cancer in March 1980, a devastated Carangi began using drugs and developed an addiction to heroin. Carangi's addiction soon began to affect her work; she had violent temper tantrums, walked out of photo shoots to buy drugs, and fell asleep in front of the camera. Scavullo recalled a fashion shoot with Carangi in the Caribbean when "she was crying, she couldn't find her drugs. I literally had to lay her down on her bed until she fell asleep." During one of her final location shoots for American Vogue, Carangi had red bumps in the crooks of her elbows where she had injected heroin. Despite airbrushing, some of the photos, as published in the November 1980 issue, reportedly still showed visible needle marks.

In November 1980, Carangi left Wilhelmina Models and signed with Ford Models, but she was dropped within weeks. By then, her career was in a steep decline. Modeling offers soon ceased and her fashion industry friends, including Sandy Linter, refused to speak to her, fearing their association with her would harm their careers. In an attempt to quit using drugs, she moved back to Philadelphia with her mother and stepfather in February 1981. Carangi underwent a 21-day detox program, but her sobriety was short-lived. She was arrested in March 1981 after she drove into a fence in a suburban neighborhood. After a chase with police, she was taken into custody where it was later determined she was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. After her release, Carangi briefly signed with a new agency, Legends, and worked sporadically, mainly in Europe.

In late 1981, although still using drugs, Carangi was determined to make a comeback in the fashion industry and signed with Elite Model Management. While some clients refused to work with her, others were willing to hire her because of her past status as a top model. Scavullo photographed her for the April 1982 cover of Cosmopolitan, her last cover appearance for an American magazine. Sean Byrnes, Scavullo's long-time assistant, later said, "What she was doing to herself finally became apparent in her pictures. ... I could see the change in her beauty. There was an emptiness in her eyes."

Carangi then mainly worked with photographer Albert Watson and found work modeling for department stores and catalogs. She appeared in an advertising campaign for Versace, shot by Richard Avedon. He hired her for the fashion house's next campaign, but during the photo shoot, in late 1982, Carangi became uncomfortable and left before any useable shots of her were taken. Around this time, Carangi enrolled in an outpatient methadone program but soon began using heroin again. By the end of 1982, she had only a few clients that were willing to hire her. Carangi's final photo shoot was for German mail-order clothing company Otto Versand in Tunisia; she was sent home during the shoot for using heroin. She left New York for the final time in early 1983.


Molly Sims, 50, says she 'pretty much' starved herself after being told she was 'too fat' during her early modeling days in the 'heroin chic' 1990s, April 5, 2024
Molly Sims revealed she'pretty much' starved herself after being told she was 'too fat' in her early days as a model. She began working in the 1990s during the 'heroin chic' period typified by supermodels like Kate Moss and Gia Carangi. Molly went straight into fashion after being criticized for her height and her 'crooked' nose.