News by Maddy Coffey

A male model has died after collapsing on the runway at Brazil’s Sao Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW).

Twenty-six-year-old Tales Soares, known artistically as Tales Cotta, was walking Ocksa’s fashion show when he suddenly stumbled and collapsed midcatwalk.

Initially, the audience thought it was part of the show, before emergency workers rushed onto the stage as he began foaming at the mouth. The model was rushed to hospital but was later pronounced dead.

The death was confirmed by a statement by SPFW: “We’re sorry for his loss and send our deepest condolences to Tales’ family.”

The model’s agent, Rogério Campaneli, from MGT Base agency, told reporters: “This has been a shocking series of events that we’re trying hard to piece together. But everything happened so suddenly and unexpectedly… It was all so fast: he kissed a friend behind the scenes who was following him, walked out confidently as usual, then suddenly stumbled, lost his footing and fell.”

The death sparked controversy on social media, especially because the show continued after the model was removed from the runway by firefighters and taken to the nearby hospital where he passed away – after Soares’ death was confirmed, SPFW’s organisers met with the brands, executives, stylists and models that were scheduled to work in the subsequent shows and, together, they decided to go on with the show.

A minute of silence was held before each show and models brandished hand-written placards on the catwalk with messages of tribute to the popular model, such as “Luto” (mourning) and “Amor” (love).

The cause of Soares’ death remains unknown, though “doctors suspect that Tales might have had a congenital problem. From videos, they believe he died on the catwalk.”

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