Monday, February 3, 2014

Gia The First Supermodel

Gia Marie Carangi was born in Philadelphia in January 29 1960. She was an American fashion model during the late 1970s and early 1980s who was widely considered the first "Supermodel".
Gia's  fashion history  includes  many fashion magazines covers, including Vogue US,  Vogue Paris,  Vogue Paris, Italian Vogue and several issues of Cosmopolitan. She was the favorite model of photographers like Francesco Scavullo, Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, and Chris von Wangenheim.  By the end of 1978, Carangi was already a well-established model. Gia was modeling for the labels: Body Basics, Christian Dior, Cutex, Diane von Fürstenberg, Giorgio Armani, Lancetti, Levi's, Maybelline, Perry Ellis, Versace, Vidal Sassoon and Yves Saint Laurent.
Cindy Crawford, was later referred to as "Baby Gia", due to her resemblance to Gia. Carangi was also the first to present unusual poses, facial expressions and gestures. She is credited by many at the upper echelons of fashion to have created a new style of modeling, emulated by models since then to the present.

Carangi, who was known in modeling circles just by her first name, had a turbulent childhood. Her parents fought frequently, and she was given little attention.

In October 1978, Carangi did her first major shoot with top fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim. Wangenheim had her pose nude behind a chain-link fence with makeup assistant Sandy Linter. Carangi immediately became infatuated with Linter and started to pursue her, though the relationship never became stable., Carangi's agent, Wilhelmina Cooper, died of lung cancer. Devastated, Carangi started abusing drugs. Scavullo recalled a fashion shoot 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."

After becoming addicted to drugs, Carangi's modeling career rapidly declined. 

Gia was enrolled in treatment centre several times, but she was still back to drugs.

Her attempt to quit drugs was shattered when news that good friend and fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim had died in a car accident. Carangi locked herself in a bathroom for hours, shooting heroin. In the fall of 1981, she looked far different from the top model she once had been. However, she was still determined to make a comeback in the fashion industry. 

After pressure from her family she entered a drug-rehabilitation program again at Eagleville Hospital. After six months, she was released from the program and moved back to Philadelphia, where she seemed to be getting her life back on track. She started taking classes in photography and cinematography. But, three months later, she had vanished once again, and had returned to Atlantic City, and started shooting heroin again. She slept with men for money and was raped on several occasions. 

Carangi was diagnosed with AIDS, then a newly recognized disease. As her condition worsened, she was transferred to Philadelphia's Hahnemann University Hospital. Her mother stayed with her day and night, allowing virtually no visitors.

On November 18, 1986 at 10 a.m., 26-year-old Gia Carangi died.

Her funeral was held on November 21 at a small funeral home in Philadelphia. Nobody from the fashion world attended. However, weeks later, Scavullo sent a Mass card when he heard the news. A biography of Carangi by Stephen Fried called Thing of Beauty was published in 1993. A biographical film, Gia, debuted on HBO in 1998. Angelina Jolie starred in the title role.

Gia was not only a beautiful lady and supermodel, she had great vision of life and her sparkling eyes. Her writing skills while making diaries was unique and remarkable. 

“Life and death, energy and peace. 

If I stop today it was still worth it. 
Even the terrible mistakes that I made 
And would have unmade if I could. 
The pains that have burned me and scarred my soul, 
It was worth it, 
For having been allowed to walk where I’ve walked, 
Which was to hell on earth, heaven on earth, back again, into,
Under, far in between, through it, in it, and above.” — Gia

“Now I have a great lust for life, and I love life, and it’s a wonderful feeling. And I think that I had to go through that, in order to have this feeling that I have right now.” — Gia Carangi

“Once upon a time… 

in a kingdom far, far away… 
there lived a young girl… 
whose hair was made of gold. 
When the people
in the village saw her, they said… 
“Oh, how beautiful she is.”
Once upon a time,
there was a very pretty girl… 
who lived in a beautiful box
and everybody loved her.
“Once upon a time,
there was a girl with golden hair… 
who went to live
in a beautiful house.”
But the people in the village
were very poor… 
and every night, they crept
into the house where the girl slept… 
and they cut off a piece
of her golden hair… 
and they sold it for money. 
“She’ll never even notice,”
they said. 
And so, all the gold
was gone from her head.
“And the people said… 
‘Oh, she’s not beautiful at all.’ 
And they took her from
the beautiful house… 
and they drove her
into the street. 
And she went away… 
and she never came back. 
And soon,
people became hungry again… 
and they went back into
the beautiful house… 
Iooking for gold,
but there was no one there.

Carangi's family, and Sandy Linter discussing her life created a documentary entitled "The Self-Destruction of Gia".

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