01 May REBELLION COUTURE
Gia Giordano – Remembering Gia Carangi
Written by Jay Harris
Hello again to you dear reader. I hope that May finds you well, healthy and happy?
Spring IS here, it is finally getting warmer and the days are getting ever longer.
Everything is blooming and we are surrounded by natural beauty wherever we look, if we choose to see it.
Speaking of beauty, during a casual conversation with our designer on noticeable inspirations- the name Gia Carangi came up. As you know, a major part of Giordano’s designs are inspiration drawn from a unique perspective with a heavy focus on ‘Rebellion Couture.’ You may be well aware by now, imagination and innovation come in part with Gia’s vast array of subjects and their back stories which make it absolutely fitting then that Gia would drop the name of the aforementioned, little known (these days), model, ‘Gia Carangi’.
Born in January 1960, this flawless and complexed woman rose to prominence in 1978. ‘I didn’t build into a model, I became one!’
Unsurprisingly, her effervescent, exquisite and enticing beauty rapidly headed campaigns for fashion powerhouse’s such as Armani, Dior, Versace and gracing magazine covers globally, for example ‘Vogue’ and ‘Cosmopolitan,’ naming just a few.
Personally, Gia Carangi had within her, a fiery, no nonsense attitude and an overwhelming rebellious streak which carried her into a career, as short as it was, and was heightened after an innocuous introduction into drugs.
It wouldn’t take very long before this became an addiction to heroin, negatively impacting her ability to work and inevitably the reason that she was dropped by Ford Models- and as early as 1980 her star was beginning to fade.
1981 saw her enter a 21-day detox programme, hoping for a new lease of life, sober and capable but ultimately, its effects were temporary and this beautiful, misunderstood soul soon fell back into the downward spiral that alcohol and drug abuse would drag her into.
Her last job in 1983 ended when, during the photo shoot, she was sent packing after being spotted using heroin.
She was ill equipped and ignored by the industry that she so loved and tragically became involved in prostitution to fund her habit, and at her lowest, Gia was found in the street by a passer-by, badly beaten and raped, requiring hospital treatment.
Heart wrenching to say the least, the brief chapter of Gia’s intense life storyline was to end when in November 1986, the model died of AIDS related complications.
This woman was far more than a tragic tale. She had an incredibly enquiring mind, a huge imagination, and undoubtedly, (ahem, coughs), the balls big enough to get exactly what she desired from the very beginning, notably the accolade as she was widely considered the world’s first ‘supermodel’. Cindy Crawford was later often referred to as ‘Baby Gia.’
Her taste for rebellion was well known at the time, far and wide within the fashion industry her name was known as just ‘Gia’, who would pose naked, throw monumental tantrums and the widespread knowledge that she was unashamed by her sexuality, calling herself an openly a bi-sexual lesbian, certainly quite a taboo subject in those times. Obviously, Gia’s life was far from easy, despite her determination she exuded an aura of vulnerability and naivety.
Having such a back story, so short and full of tragedies and sadness yet kissed with an undefeated attitude, it is small wonder that Gia Giordano would notice Gia Carangi, the similarities in traits and life challenges obviously relatable and influential in equal measure with a side dish of respect. Then of course there is the fiery Italian genes in both the first supermodel and the fashion designer. There are many avenues to go down and to discover regarding the life of Gia Carangi, notably a movie starring Angelina Jolie simply entitled ‘Gia,’ and also books and websites dedicated and devoted to the late supermodel.
IN LOVING MEMORY
January 29th 1960-November 18th 1986.
Gone but NEVER forgotten.
by Jay Harris.