The young Russian model, Vlada Dzyuba
A 14-year-old Russian model collapsed after working herself to death during a three-month assignment in China. Vlada Dzyuba was found to be suffering from ‘utter exhaustion’ and chronic meningitis following a gruelling 13-hour Asian fashion show in Shanghai.
The teen collapsed and fell into a coma moments before she was due to step out for the latest of many appearances on the catwalk
Sadly she never regained consciousness, dying two days later, according to reports
It is now claimed the youngster was on a ‘slave labour’ contract without medical insurance and had been too ‘scared’ to seek hospital treatment.
Officially she was permitted to work only three hours a week and was required to have medical insurance.
Her tragic case has raised concerns over the punishing conditions for young models desperate to make it to the big time, and the way they can be harshly exploited.
A rising flow of young Russian models are recruited to China.
Moscow is to demand explanations over the conditions in which Dzyuba was kept in Shanghai, after she was recruited on a contract which involved her missing school in her home city Perm, in the Urals.
She had been prominent at this month’s prestigious Shanghai Fashion Week. The girl’s temperature soared as she was about the go on the catwalk, it has emerged.
“Minutes later she collapsed and was unconscious,” reported The Siberian Times.
“An ambulance was called but she died on Friday after two days in a coma.
“The preliminary cause of death is meningitis compounded by severe exhaustion.”
Her distraught mother Oksana wept: “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 shot up.
“I didn’t sleep myself and was calling her constantly, begging her to go to hospital.”
Dzyuba’s mother – who also has a young baby – bought a visa to be with her daughter but could not get it before she died.
The teen had been recruited by a prominent Chinese modelling agency, it is understood.
The head of the Perm modelling agency behind her trip, Elvira Zaitseva, said: “No-one expected it to lead to such consequences.
“We are now reaping what we have sown.”
She admitted not personally checking the girl’s contract and medical insurance. Dzyuba’s Russian manager Dmitry Smirnov, who negotiated her Chinese assignment, has not commented on her death.
The Kremlin’s human rights ombudsman in Perm, Pavel Mikov, said he was personally investigating the girl’s death.