GENEVA — A former French model who caused a stir with a 2007 ad campaign in which she was photographed nude with anorexia, died last month at the age of 28, the 20 Minutes.ch website reported Wednesday.
Isabelle Caro’s boyfriend, Swiss singer Vincent Bigler, confirmed her death, saying she passed away on November 17 after spending about two weeks in hospital with acute respiratory disease although he did not know the cause of death.
Caro hit the spotlight in 2007 when she bared her emaciated frame for pictures by controversial Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani for an anti-anorexia campaign for a clothing company that was released in Milan fashion week.
At the time she weighed just 32 kilogrammes (70.5 pounds) for a height of 1.65 metres (5.4 feet).
Her picture caused a stir, sparking debate in the fashion industry. It was banned by Italy’s advertising watchdog while France’s authority told French companies not to use it.
“She was hospitalised for 15 days with acute respiratory disease and was recently also very tired, but I do not know the cause of her death,” Bigler told the 20 Minutes.ch.
Caro suffered from anorexia from the age of 13 and fell into a coma in 2006 when her weight dropped to 25kg. She fought the eating disorder and announced early 2010 that her weight had risen to 42kg, 20 Minutes said.
Caro said in 2007 she had decided to pose for Toscani’s “No to Anorexia” campaign to alert young women to the dangers of being too thin.
“I thought this could be a chance to use my suffering to get a message across, and finally put an image on what thinness represents and the danger it leads to — which is death,” she said.
According to other reports, news of her death, which was confirmed by her acting coach, Daniele Dubreuil-Prevot, was only told by the model’s family to a few close friends, with a small funeral held for her.