Tales Soares / Instagram
Tales Soares, a gay male model who spoke out for LGBTI rights, has tragically died while walking the runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week.
The 26-year-old, also known as Tales Cotta, was modelling the newest collection by label Ocksa when he appeared to stumble and fall in front of the audience.
The crowd at first thought it was part of the show or that he had tripped, but Soares failed to get up and appeared to suffer some kind of seizure. He was given medical assistance and rushed to hospital where he was declared dead.
According to his Instagram page, Soares had a degree in physical education but it seems he had other career plans. “I’m thinking of studying gastronomy since I love cooking and I think it’s a very interesting course,” he told Harper’s Bazaar Brazil in an interview.
Faelo Ribeiro, a photographer who knew Ribeiro, told GSN that the young man “was gay and an advocate for LGBTI rights.” The model had also expressed his support for LGBTI Pride on his Facebook page.
The cause of his death is still a mystery but there has been speculation that he may have unknowingly suffered from a congenital condition of some kind.
Soares’ modelling agency, MGT Base, stated: “We emphasise that Tales never presented or complained about health problems. He had a healthy diet (he was a vegetarian), did not use illicit substances and was considered in full healthy condition to participate in the parade.”
They added: “We await the medical report and we ask for respect at that moment of deep sadness. He will be forever in our hearts and memory.”
The organisers of Sao Paulo’s Fashion Week shared their shock on social media at Soares’ unexpected passing. “May God welcome you with open arms! Life is definitely a catwalk, we’re just passing through! Very sad!” they said on Instagram.