Brazilian model Tales Soares, 26 unexpectedly died on April 27, after collapsing on the runway during São Paulo Fashion Week. Known by his stage name Tales Cotta, Soares was a popular model with the BASE agency, which had represented him for a year-and-a-half. In addition to being an accomplished model, Soares was hailed as an LGBTQ rights advocate.
Prior to stepping out onto the runway, Soares seemed to be in good spirits. He had just spoken to his family and had given a quick kiss to the model who was following him on the catwalk. Within seconds after strutting onto the stage, horrified onlookers watched as Soares stumbled and fell to the ground.
Soares’ close friend and fellow model Rosa Fernanda posted a tribute on her Instagram which read, “Rest in peace, my love, I’m going to miss you a lot. I love you forever. A person too good for this world.”
Here’s what you need to know about Brazilian model Tales Soares:
1. The Audience Initially Thought Soares’ Collapse was Part of the Show
Witnesses said that Soares collapsed while turning to leave the runway. As he made his turn on the catwalk, it appeared as though he tripped over his shoelaces, and took a tumble.
At first, many spectators assumed Soares’ fall was part of the show until he began having a seizure and started foaming from the mouth. Video reveals audience members audibly gasping and running onto the stage to help him as other models continued to walk out onto the runway.
Paramedics attempted to revive Soares, then immediately transported him to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy will be conducted to determine Soares’ cause of death.
2. Soares’ Agent Said he may Have had an Undiagnosed Medical Condition
Soares’ agent, BASE, released a statement on Instagram, noting that he had “exemplary behavior,” and never complained about any health problems. “He maintained a healthy diet (he was vegetarian), did not use illicit substances and was in full conditions to participate in the (fashion show).”
“This has been a shocking series of events that we’re trying hard to piece together. But everything happened so suddenly and unexpectedly,” Soare’s BASE agent, Rogério Campaneli, told FocusOn News. “Doctors suspect that Tales might have had a congenital problem. From videos, they believe he died on the catwalk,” he added.
3. Soares Was Working the Runway for the Fashion Brand Ocksa
Descanse em paz! Modelo passa mal e desmaia durante desfile do SÃ£o Paulo Fashion Week. Infelizmente, Tales Soares faleceu no hospital. Nossos sentimentos Ã famÃlia e amigos ðŸ’”— PopDaily (@portalpopd) April 27, 2019
Soares was modeling for Ocksa, a fashion label based in Barcelona Spain. Ocksa says on its website that their clothing is designed to be unisex with a “sophisticated silhouette” and combines “comfort, practicality, utilitarianism, and functionality.”
As he walked down the runway, the tan, blue-eyed model with tightly cropped platinum hair showed off a long, pale blue shirt, and billowing chartreuse shorts that came below the knee. Like the other models on the catwalk, the laces on his teal-colored shoes were untied.
The fashion house released a statement immediately after Soares’ passing. “The whole team of Ocksa deeply regrets and is appalled by the news of the death of the model Tales Cotta.”
4. Soares’ Family Was Watching the Fashion Show
The Sun has reported that just prior to the show, Soares chatted by video with his sister Gabrielle Gomes and mother Heloise. The Soares’ family then began watching the fashion show’s live telecast from their home in Manhuaçu, approximately 500 miles north of Sao Paolo.
Family members saw Soares as he made his way down the catwalk but then did not see him return. Suddenly, the broadcast was halted. “My mother called to find out what was going on, they said that Tales had been taken ill and hospitalised and shortly after, the organization called again and said he had died,” Soares’ sister Gabrielle explained. Gomes asserts that her brother was very healthy, participated in Crossfit, had regular check-ups, and had no history of seizures or other serious medical conditions.
5. Soares Was Modeling at “Latin America’s Preeminent Fashion Event”
São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) is a major semiannual show which has been called “Latin America’s preeminent fashion event.” It is the fifth largest fashion week in the world behind New York London Paris and Milan.
The SPFW released a statement on their website announcing Soares’ death and the decision to proceed with the fashion show. “With this news, the organization met with the brands, directors of parades, stylists and models that had parades in the programming, and was given the option to cancel them. Even shaken, everyone decided to keep the parades.” A decision was made to honor Soares by starting each designer’s show with a moment of silence.
SPFW expressed its condolences to Soares’ family. “We are rendering all necessary assistance in this sad moment.”