A 26-year-old Brazilian model has collapsed on the catwalk in front of horrified onlookers and died after he reportedly tripped on the straps of his sandals.Tales Soares staggered while turning at the end of the stage during his performance at Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Brazil on Saturday night.The audience had thought his collapse was part of the show until emergency workers rushed onto the stage as he began foaming at the mouth.They were unable to revive him and he was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Sao Paulo; the exact cause of his death remains unclear.The show went on despite Soares’s death, with models brandishing handwritten placards on the catwalk with messages of tribute to the popular model, such as “Luto” (mourning) and “Amor” (love).Soares, also known as Tales Cotta, was employed by the prestigious Brazilian modelling agency Base MGT which over the weekend issued a statement denying that drugs had played any part in his death.We emphasize that the model always had exemplary behaviour
“We emphasize that the model always had exemplary behaviour,” a Base MGT spokesman 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 in the parade.“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.He has always been very engaged in social causes. He fought for the minorities and taught in a needy community
However, Sao Paulo Fashion Week organizers deny this and say that catering was available throughout the evening.It was also speculated that Soares tripped over one of the straps on his sandals, causing him to fall over, but the cause of death will not be confirmed until investigators carry out a post-mortem examination.Faelo Ribeiro, a friend of the model, said that Soares died doing what he loved.“He has always been very engaged in social causes. He fought for the minorities and taught in a needy community,” he added.Sao Paulo Fashion Week has paid tribute to Soares in a post on its Instagram page, which reads: “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 girl, collapsed after a gruelling 12-hour fashion show in Shanghai.It was later claimed that 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.