Burberry model Tom Nicon commits suicide at start of Milan Fashion Week

Nicon, 22, committed suicide after he fell 20ft to his death from his apartment in Italy. He is thought to have been depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend.

The model, who was the male “face” of the British fashion label Burberry, died at the start of the Milan Men’s fashion week. Tom also worked for Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Versace, for whom he had attended a show rehearsal the day he died. Fashion Week will go ahead with a tribute to the Frenchman.

Donatella Versace said: “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 all so very sad.”

The model’s death follows Alexander McQueen who committed suicide in February this year following the death of his mother.Three months ago Noemie Lenoir, the face of Marks and Spencer’s underwear, was found unconscious in woodland near her Paris home after attempting to commit suicide. Lenoir – the girlfriend of former Chelsea football star Claude Makelele – is believed to have taken a cocktail of drugs and alcohol. She was rushed to hospital and has now made a full recovery. 

Last year, South Korean supermodel Daul Kim hanged herself at her luxury Paris apartment after writing on her internet blog that she was ‘mad depressed and overworked’.

It’s a tragic ending to a life filled with promise. Surely the people in Tom’s life are now wondering if they might have done something more to prevent it. Were there signs they could have seen that may have helped to save his life?

Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross writes about the five stages of grief in her groundbreaking book On Death and Dying. As Ross explains it, the initial stages of grief are filled with all of the feelings: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The thing about grief is that anyone who experiences a loss must navigate these waters; they’re not unique to loss of life. In the beginning our feelings are like a tsunami: all-consuming. Eventually, pauses in grief infiltrate the painful times until we have hours and days where we don’t think about it at all. Then one day hope returns, and like a light at the end of a very long tunnel, we begin to see that we will recover and, someday, love again.

The question Tom Nicon’s death raises is: Were there signs that he had crossed over to the dark side of grief? A place where there appears to be no hope and the only option is to take one’s life? Could his friends and loved ones have taken action that may have helped and possibly prevented his tragic ending?

Dr. Ross says, “My best advice for the depressed person is to do the best you can to practice self-care, give yourself a break — with clinical depression it’s understandable that you can’t simply ‘brush it off’ or ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps.’ For the loved one, do not judge or try to motivate with things like, ‘you’ll get over it … ‘ Clinical depression is serious and can be deadly. The best thing you can do is to listen, validate their experience, and empathize with their feelings. Encourage the growth of a support network to help (family, other friends) and assist the person in getting professional help if needed.”