Rumours rife after Brazilian model drops dead on Sao Paulo catwalk
Was it hunger? A loose strap on his sandal? As speculation swirls his agency insists Tales Cotta was healthy and drug free
A 26-year-old model has collapsed and died on the catwalk in front of horrified onlookers at a fashion show in Brazil.
Tales Soares staggered as he turned to walk back while modelling clothes and footwear during Sao Paulo Fashion Week on Saturday night. The audience thought his collapse might be part of the show until emergency medics rushed onto the stage as he began foaming at the mouth.
They were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead in hospital. The exact cause of his death remains unclear.
The show went on, although models brandished handwritten placards on the catwalk with messages such as “Luto” (mourning) and “Amor” (love).
Soares, also known as Tales Cotta, was employed by the prestigious Brazilian modelling agency Base MGT, which denied that drugs had played any part in his death. “We emphasise that the model always had exemplary behaviour,” a spokesperson said. “He was not a newcomer; he has already paraded in other editions of both SPFW and other important fashion events.
“Tales never presented or complained about health problems. He had a healthy diet (he was a vegetarian), did not use illegal substances and was in full condition to participate.“We ask for respect at this moment of deep sadness.”Brazilian news websites have been rife with speculation as to what might have caused the young model to collapse. One outlet alleges that vegetarian food was unavailable at Saturday night’s event and that Soares had therefore not eaten for a long time. However, fashion week organisers deny this and say that catering was available.It was also speculated that Soares tripped over one of the straps on his sandals, causing him to fall, but the cause of death will not be confirmed until investigators carry out an autopsy.
Faelo Ribeiro, a friend of the model, said Soares died doing what he loved.Sao Paulo Fashion Week paid tribute to Soares in an Instagram post: “May God welcome you with open arms. Life is definitely a catwalk; we’re just passing through. Very sad.”It is not the first time a model has died during a fashion show. In 2017, Vlada Dzyuba, a 14-year-old Russian, collapsed during a gruelling 12-hour show in Shanghai. It was later claimed she had been working on what was described as a “slave labour” contract, although her death has since been variously attributed to exhaustion, meningitis, or septicaemia.– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)