During the early 1980s, Gia Carangi was one of the hottest Models in the world. During the time that she was a Model, she became known for her rebellious attitude and bold fashion statements. In addition, she appeared in advertisements for big brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, Armani, Levi Strauss & Co., and Maybelline. She was also photographed by Francesco Scavullo, Arthur Elgort, and Joseph Petrellis.
She was born on January 29, 1960, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father, Joseph, was an Italian who settled in America. She attended Abraham Lincoln High School in the city. Her mother, Kathleen, left the family when she was young. Her father worked in a restaurant. She was raised by two older brothers. Her parents divorced when she was eleven.
She was a fan of David Bowie, so she began to dress up in his style. She was part of a club called the Bowie kids. They dressed in a high glam fashion. She never missed a David Bowie concert. However, she lost her life to AIDS-related complications at the age of 26.
Her life became a subject of interest in the media in 1998, when Angelina Jolie starred as her in a biographical television film. Her story was also dramatized in an HBO movie.
Carangi was also a victim of drug abuse, which caused her to contract AIDS. She was also addicted to heroin. She had previously contracted AIDS through a contaminated needle. In addition, she had shared a syringe with her brother, Joseph, when she was doing heroin.
Despite her drug use, she was a model. She appeared on the cover of many magazines, including Vogue Paris, American Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. Her modeling career began when she was just 17. She signed a contract with the prestigious Wilhelmina Models agency when she was 17. She was a natural beauty and wore a size eight to ten dress. She was photographed by famous photographers such as Arthur Elgort, Francesco Scavullo, and Joseph Petrellis. She had relationships with many celebrities, such as Mickey Rourke, Rob Fay, and Chris von Wangenheim.
She was a member of a high school group called the Bowie kids. She was a David Bowie fan and she did not miss an album or concert. She had a love for fashion and tried to befriend as many people as she could. But, despite her desire to make friends, she had trouble balancing her life. She began to turn to drugs again in 1985. Her career had become unsteady. She was blackballed from many agencies in New York. She went to rehab for about a year.
In the late 1970s, she was discovered by a photographer working at Bloomingdales in Philadelphia. She modeled for several department stores, but her career was cut short. She left for New York in 1978. Then, she moved to Philadelphia again.
She was then discovered again in the city by Chris von Wangenheim, the famous fashion photographer. He wanted to pose Carangi nude behind a chain-link fence. The photographer was fascinated by her rebellious attitude.