Teenage Russian model dies after collapsing during show

Many foreign models in China are from the former Soviet Union. The exact circumstances of Vlada Dzyuba's death last week are still murky, and there are conflicting accounts from Russian Federation and China.

There is an increasing number of young models between the ages of 14 and 16 being recruited from Russian Federation to work in Chinese fashion industry.

Russian media has accused the Chinese agency of recruiting Vlada on a "slave labor" contract without medical insurance.

It is also being said that she was not covered by medical insurance despite having spent three months working with a major Chinese modelling agency.

Vlada is working in China on a three-month contract from Russian Federation.

The report in the Siberian Times said that her mother Oksana had told the NTV television station: "She was calling me, saying "Mama, I am so exhausted. I so much want to sleep", she told NTV. "There is no so-called slave contract".

Police are now reportedly investigating the cause of death. The document couldn't be independently verified.

After the Shanghai event Dzyuba travelled to Yiwu, a city south of Shanghai, but a model shoot was cancelled because she began feeling unwell and she returned to Shanghai.

"There is no coercive clause in this contract", he said in an interview, adding that the three-month contract didn't mention working hours.

Sadly, she never regained consciousness and died two days later.

Moscow is set to demand an explanation over the conditions Vlada was living in during her time working in Asia.

Like many hopeful supermodels, schoolgirl Vlada from Perm had the looks for a career in worldwide modelling.

Vlada collapsed after her temperature soared while waiting for her next appearance.

The agency said it halted the next day's work, and sent Dzyuba back to Shanghai on October 25. Russian diplomats have asked that a cremation is delayed until her mother - Oksana - arrives in China.

Unfortunately, her condition continued to worsen.

Michelle Chien, the public relations director at ESEE, said that because modeling is considered cultural work and an "exceptional industry".

The company said it had paid 50,000 yuan (US$7,500) in advance for intensive care treatment.

  • Kyle Peterson