Gia Carangi was an American fashion model during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Carangi, who was of Italian, Welsh and Irish ancestry, was considered by some to be the first supermodel. 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 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, 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.
She moved from Philadelphia to New York City at the age of 17, and quickly rose to prominence. She was the favorite model of many eminent fashion photographers, including Francesco Scavullo, Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, and Chris von Wangenheim, and she posed for photos in many countries. By the end of 1978, Carangi was already a well-established model.