“She had her own way of moving in front of the camera.It wasn’t like any model I’d worked with before.” Born on January 29, 1960 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gia Marie Carangi was raised in a turbulent home.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.Joseph and Kathleen had an unstable, violent marriage, ultimately leading Kathleen to abandon the family when Carangi was eleven years old.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.
Gia grew up in a comfortable house, situated on the outskirts of Philadelphia, but although the environment was welcoming, her house rarely felt like a home.
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.
In November 1980, Carangi left Wilhelmina Models and signed with Ford Models, but she was dropped within weeks. 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 drugs, she moved back to Philadelphia with her mother and stepfather in February 1981. She was arrested in March 1981 after she drove into a fence in a suburban neighborhood.