A 14-year-old Russian model has died of “utter exhaustion and meningitis” after a gruelling 13 hour fashion expo in China. Vlada Dzyuba, from perm in Russia was on three month contract to work on catwalks and attain her dream of being a sort-after model. The teenage model with the exclusion of her disposable income [plane fare, hotels, food & insurance] earned just €6.30 daily.
The case of the model has been a mind raiser over the exploitation of teens and young adults that has characterized the fashion industry following the claim that she went into a coma, complaining to her mother of her exhaustion.
The mother submits to NTV programme, ”She was calling me, saying ‘mama, I am so tired. I so much want to sleep”.
”It must have been the very beginning of the illness. And then her temperature shots up”.
Meanwhile, the Chinese agency involved in her recent trip has debunked overworking the 14-year-old model.
The Siberian Times reports that the girl’s temperature soared moments before she was set to go out on the catwalk for the fashion show.
“I didn’t sleep myself and was calling her constantly, begging her to go to hospital.” Her devastated mother Oksana said.
She had been trying to get a visa to fly out to be with her young daughter before she heard the news of her death.
The head of the Perm modelling agency behind her trip, Elvira Zaitseva, said that no-one expected it to lead to such consequences. “We are now reaping what we have sown.”
She admitted not checking Vlada’s contract and if she had proper medical insurance. However, Moscow is set to demand an explanation over the conditions Vlada was living in during her stay time in Asia.
Kremlin human rights ombudsman in Perm, Pavel Mikov, is personally investigating the issue.
Meanwhile her agency, ESEE Model Management, released a statement to the Global Times that read that “Dzyuba had 16 different jobs during her two-month stay in China. She had regular breaks while working. Most of her work was completed within eight hours. Her workload was moderate compared to other models,” thus denying that the teen had been overworked by her agency. It was, at first, reported that she was only supposed to work three hours a week and, though ESEE says that was not the case, they do stress that her workload did not exceed what is normal, at the same time.
The publication also notes that Chinese Labor Law allows an eight-hour work day so, if her agency is being truthful, it seems as though she might have still been working within the parameters of her contract. That said, the final 13-hour show that she worked before collapsing was well beyond either rule.
The model’s death is, at the moment, blamed on “meningitis compounded by severe exhaustion.” This tragic loss comes on the heels of multiple new laws that dictate how old and how healthy models must be before participating in any projects within certain countries.
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