Death by overwork used to solely be a Japanese thing, called karōshi.
It seems to have spread to the Asian mainland now as reports are reaching us from Shanghai where a 14-year-old Russian model (how is that even legal?) collapsed and died after a 12-hour fashion show.
The girl from Siberia, called Vlada Dzyuba, had been given a contract to work just a few hours a week during a three months tour of China but instead when she showed up at the first designer’s modelling house she proved too popular for the local fashion brands who kept her running up and down the catwalk.
In the end, she got exhausted, suffered from chronic meningitis due to the lack of regular food and sleep and fell into a coma. She never regained consciousness afterward and 48 hours later, she died.
Miss Vlada Dzyuba’s official coroner report show that she died from “utter exhaustion”.
Her mother, who has another young daughter, tried to obtain a visa to be with her in those final hours but could not get it arranged in time.
It is understood that the teenager had been recruited by a prominent Chinese modeling agency, called Perm.
One of the Russian models who befriended her in Asia explained that because young Vlada was making so much money that she could send home to the family, she was too afraid to speak up and tell her bosses that she was getting exhausted.
The head of the Russian branch of the Perm modeling agency, who organized the three months trip, Ms. Elvira Zaitseva, admitted that “no-one expected it to lead to such consequences. We are now reaping what we have sown.” She admitted to the local Russian press that no one had checked the girl's contract, as it was in Chinese, nor had they asked for medical check-ups.
Miss Dzyuba's Russian manager Mr. Dmitry Smirnov, who negotiated the terms for her Chinese assignment, did not return requests for comment.