Brazilian Model Collapses, Dies On Catwalk During Fashion Show
Fashion model Tales Cotta died after collapsing on the catwalk during São Paulo Fashion Week.
Cotta walked in a show for fashion brand Ocksa. Audience members initially thought his collapse was part of the show, but eventually firefighters rushed to his aid and carried him from the stage.
Organizers of the event in Brazil confirmed the death in a statement on social media.
“We’re sorry for their loss and send our deepest condolences to Tales’ family,” the statement said, adding they were providing “all necessary assistance at this sad time”.
Many are now expressing outrage online as knowledge that the show continued after Cotta’s death has come to light.
The model’s legal name was Tales Soares but he went by the stage name Cotta professionally.
Rogério Campaneli, Cotta’s agent with MGT Base, told the FocusOn News Agency in Brazil that doctors now believe the model had a congenital heart issue.
“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,” Campaneli said.
Video shows Cotta reaching the end of the catwalk, turning around, and then suddenly starting to stagger before collapsing on stage.
Cotta’s mother, Heloisa, told Globo her son appeared to be healthy before his death.
“He was an overbearing boy, trained in physical education, always practiced sports,” she said. “In São Paulo, he was doing a superioga (a form of yoga), he was practicing Crossfit, he had an overpowering diet, a year ago he had become vegan.”
Cotta spoke to his mother and sister by video chat less than an hour before his death. They also watched a live video feed of the catwalk when Cotta collapsed.
The model in the past spoke to Harper’s Bazaar after being featured in the Casa de Criadores fashion event. At the time, he spoke about the importance of the show in showcasing models from the LGBTQ community.
He posted an image of himself on Facebook last June with a Pride Month rainbow flag filter, and he has spoken out regularly for LGBTQ rights.
His Facebook banner when he died showed a rainbow logo and the phrase “Protect Your Friends” written in Portuguese.
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