Mama Cax, model and advocate for inclusivity in fashion, dies aged 30

Mama Cax in November 2018Image copyright
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Mama Cax was a powerful advocate for women of colour and disabled women in the fashion industry

Mama Cax, a groundbreaking model and activist, has died at the age of 30.

The Haitian-American model, whose full name was Cacsmy Brutus, died on Monday after falling ill on a trip to London, her family wrote in an Instagram post.

Cax had lost her leg to lung and bone cancer as a teenager, and was a powerful advocate for women of colour and disabled women in fashion.

“To say that Cax was a fighter would be an understatement,” her family’s statement said.

“As a cancer survivor, she had grown accustomed to taking on life’s several challenges head on and successfully. It is with that same grit… that she fought her last days on earth.”

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Cax first found fame through her blog, in which she wrote frankly and honestly about disability – alongside posts about fashion, travel and general lifestyle.

She later became known for her distinctive street style, and for decorating her prosthetic leg in bold ways.

Image copyright
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Mama Cax said earlier this year that she learned to see her prosthetic “as a piece of art”

This, she told Dazed and Confused magazine earlier this year, was her way of learning to “look at it as a piece of art as opposed to something that I had to be ashamed of”.

Over the last few years, Cax hit several major fashion milestones.

She modelled for big-name brands including Sephora, Asos and Tommy Hilfiger, and last year she was on the cover of the September issue of Teen Vogue.

This year, she walked in both New York Fashion Weeks – in February she modelled for Chromat, while in October, she walked for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty label.

Paying tribute on social media, Rihanna posted a photo of Cax walking in her catwalk show and called her a “powerhouse beauty” – before adding, “rest in power sis”.