Gia Carangi is Gia Model

January 17, 2009
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Gia Carangi was reportedly the first real Supermodel no matter what Janice Dickerson says. Read her biography below, see photos and watch a video of Gia.

The talented and beautiful model known to so many as simply ‘Gia’ embraced the wild party scene of the New York clubs of the late 70’s and 80’s. Her life and dreams were destroyed when she became an avid drug user and addicted to heroin. She contracted AIDS and died at the age of only 26. You can go to her foundation’s website to see photos.

A 1998 TV movie called ‘Gia’ has been made and it stars Angelina Jolie (who plays Gia), Kylie Travis, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Michael Cole, Mercedes Ruehl.





Gia Marie Carangi was born on January 29, 1960 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She tragically died on November 18, 1986 at the age of 26. Gia was a model during the late 1970’s and early 1980s’ and is considered to be the first supermodel though that title has often been given to although others including Janice Dickinson and Dorian Leigh. Supermodel Cindy Crawford was often called ‘Baby Gia’ because of her resemblance to Gia Carangi.

After being featured in Philadelphia newspaper ads, Gia moved to New York City at the age of 17, where she quickly rose up to top model ranks. She was the favorite model of many fashion photographers, including Francesco Scavullo, Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, and Chris von Wangenheim. She often said, “I didn’t build up to becoming a top model, I just became one.’

Her sexual orientation has long been gossiped about. Many of her peers considered her to be lesbian, others point to the fact she had relationships with men and call her bisexual. It was a time, some say, when those things mattered.

Gia Carangi was also the first to present unusual poses, facial expressions and gestures. She is credited by many in the fashion model industry to have created a new style of modeling, copied by models since then to now.

Gia was featured on the cover of many fashion magazines, including Vogue, April 1, 1979; Vogue Paris, April 1979; American Vogue, August 1980; Vogue Paris, August 1980; Italian Vogue, January 1981; and several issues of Cosmopolitan between 1979 and 1982.

Gia was a regular at all the hottest New York clubs. Her cocaine and heroine use was legendary. After becoming addicted to heroin, Gia Carangi’s modeling career rapidly declined. She later became infected with HIV and died on November 18, 1986 at the age of 26. Her death was not widely publicized and few people in the fashion industry knew of it. Carangi is thought to be one of the first famous women to die of AIDS.

In 1996, actress-screenwriter Zoë Tamerlis, herself a heroin addict who died of drug-related causes in 1999, was commissioned to write a screenplay based upon Gia Carangi’s life. This version of Gia was not produced, but after Tamerlis’ death, footage of Carangi, Tamerlis, photographers, Carangi’s family, and Sandy Linter discussing her life was incorporated into a 2003 documentary entitled The Self-Destruction of Gia.


Gia Carangi Video


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