French model Tom Nicon, who has fronted fashion campaigns for Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Hugo Boss, died instantly after falling four floors from his apartment window in Milan on Friday, according to police in the city.
The 22-year-old attended a fitting for Versace in the morning and was due to go to a meeting with his modelling agency, Success, in the afternoon, but never turned up, detectives said. He was found dead at the foot of the building soon after.
It is understood that Nicon was depressed following a split from his Italian girlfriend, with police in Milan confirming that they are treating the death as suicide and investigating leads that he suffered from a "complicated affair of love". Organisers of men's fashion week in Milan stated that the shows would go ahead in tribute to Nicon.
A police source said: "We have spoken to the friends he was staying with and they have told us that he had recently broken up with his girlfriend and was depressed.''
Donatella Versace added: "Tom was with us on Friday morning for a final show fitting. He seemed fine and calm. He had already done three or four shows with us and he was a sweet boy. I just can't understand why he did what he did. We would never have thought he would do something like this. When we heard the news we were all so upset and we still are so very sad."
Nicon's suicide follows a spate of similar deaths to hit the fashion industry in recent months. In February, Alexander McQueen took his life in London after allegedly struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother Joyce. Then in May, French model Noemie Lenoir, who had previously fronted Marks & Spencer campaigns, attempted suicide after taking what's believed to be a mixture of alcohol and drugs, and was found unconscious by a dog walker in a forest on the outskirts of Paris. Last year, South Korean model Daul Kim, who had worked for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood and Gap, was found hanged in her Paris apartment after apparently suffering from depression. She was just 20-years-old.
An anonymous poster on men's fashion blog Issac Likes tried to shed some light on the series of deaths, writing, "People think we are young and beautiful and rich and happy. But we're not. We go to castings and the directors take one look at us and then we're dismissed. You spend your whole life wondering what's wrong with you. Why didn't I get that job? You're competing with your friends, you're away from your family. The pressure is huge. It's not the fairytale life people would expect."
Picture: Tom Nicon on the catwalk for Burberry Prorsum during men's fashion week autumn/winter 2010/2011 in Milan back in January.