A 14-year-old model died in Shanghai on Friday, apparently from overwork, following a 13-hour modeling session that seemed like the last straw for the young girl’s frail frame. Filming took place at the end of what was supposed to be a month of too long days, little sleep and untreated illnesses for Vlada Dzyuba. Her agency has understandably come under scrutiny in the days since, but only now has she spoken out on the issue.
The agency, ESEE Model Management, issued a statement to the world times which said that “Dzyuba worked 16 different jobs during his two-month stay in China. She had regular breaks during her work. Most of his work was completed in eight hours. Her workload was moderate compared to other models”, thus denying that the teenager was overworked by her agency. It was first reported that she was only supposed to work three hours a week and, although ESEE claims that was not the case, they point out that his workload did not exceed what is normal, at the same time.The publication also notes that Chinese labor law allows for an eight-hour workday. So if her agency is telling the truth, it looks like she still worked within the limits of her contract. That said, the last 1 p.m. show she worked before collapsing was way beyond one or the other rule.
The model’s death is, for the moment, attributed to “meningitis aggravated by severe exhaustion”. This tragic loss follows several new laws that dictate the age and health of models before participating in projects in certain countries.
Related: Vlada Dzyuba, 14-year-old model, dies after 1 p.m. fashion show
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