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Photo from the São Paulo Fashion Week N55
Photo from the São Paulo Fashion Week N55
Original photo by Ana Paula Alves
Culture > News

5 years since the death at SPFW: has the fashion industry changed?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

In 2019, the São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) witnessed one of the most impactful events in the fashion world. This April 27th will be 5 years since the male model Tales Soares died on the last day of the 2019 Fashion Week. The model collapsed during his catwalk, caused by a heart disease that perhaps the model himself did not know he had.

Reports said that he started foaming at the mouth as paramedics tended to him before rushing him to the hospital. The model’s death was confirmed by São Paulo Fashion Week, releasing a statement that said: “We’re sorry for his loss and send our deepest condolences to Tales’ family”.

Followers of the SPFW account were enraged that the day’s schedule continued after the tragic events. “I did not believe it when I heard that the parade continued after Tales died on the catwalk. They did not have a bit of respect” said a user on Instagram.

Bad explanations

Hours before his death on Saturday, Tales shared images on social media from backstage at the fashion shows, with photos of the catwalk, his clothes, and other models. The people with him said he seemed fine, although he was a little nervous and hadn’t eaten anything before the parade – as he was a vegetarian and there was no meat-free food in the dressing room.

The audience thought the fall was part of a performance. As soon as the song ended, the fire department stormed the catwalk to provide help, and he was taken to the ambulance alive. 

The news has left the model’s family incensed. Sources close to the relatives told The Sun Online exclusively that they were seething about the leaking of the information. They were angry to discover they were the last ones to be told and could not comment because they had not been given access to the material.

However, the exact details of what the deadly disorder was remains a mystery. The document uses the generic term heart disease and does not specify what type of killer condition the model suffered from. There are also some hypotheses that he died due to the excess of thinness that the fashion world demands, which puts the lives of many other models at risk as they fall ill in search of a standard that the industry instills 


As the death of the model can be linked to extreme thinness, the fashion world has certainly changed in this relationship, as major brands now have more plus size and older models to make it clear that this standard of thinness is unattainable. With the breaking of this model, many models have stopped comparing themselves and there is a lower rate of models with eating disorders. 

However, some companies not only haven’t changed the way that they work but have been stricter with the models. Apart from wanting to omit such information, there has been no great commotion on the part of the fashion board on the subject, only condolences have been sent out.

Since the beginning of the history of fashion, we all know that this world can be very strict with the models, meaning size, weight, and other standards to achieve. In the case of models, it can cause serious diseases, but it’s important to know that the big companies do not care about that type of problem. In the world of fashion, appearance is everything.


The article above was edited by Clarissa Palácio.

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Pietra Timóteo

Casper Libero '27

Estudante de jornalismo na faculdade Cásper Líbero. Escrevendo para o coletivo da universidade que é conectada com o site. Ainda no primeiro semestre, porém com foco para trabalhar na área da moda, por gostar muito de tendências e do fascinante mundo que a envolve. Gostaria também em um futuro acompanhar e cobrir as semanas de fashion weeks em outros países e em São Paulo.