“It is with deep regret and immense sadness that we announce the passing of Cacsmy Brutus (Mama Cax),” reads an Instagram post on the model’s page shared a few hours ago.
The Haitian-American model, advocate and cancer survivor has passed away at 30 years old. She shared on social media last week that she had been experiencing severe abdominal pain and blood clots in her leg, thigh, and abdomen.
A survivor of childhood cancer that resulted in the amputation of her right leg, Cax was a trailblazer for body positivity, inclusivity, and diversity in the fashion industry. Her first modeling campaigns included Wet n Wild, ASOS and Tommy Hilfiger. She walked her first runway for Chormat on crutches. She appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue, was the face of Refinery29’s Take Back The Beach and was most recently named Glamour’s Woman Of The Year 2019.
These moments all left a powerful mark on the fashion industry.
While her resume was impressive, it was her spirit and advocacy work that touched the souls of those who crossed her path. Today, celebrities and fashion insiders mourn her death and pay tribute to the industry icon across social media.
“A queen. A force. A powerhouse beauty,” Rihanna wrote of Mama Cax, who walked the Savage x Fenty runway this year.
Jameela Jamil took to Twitter to share her tribute, calling Mama Cax “the most extraordinary role model.”
Tess Holliday shared photos of herself and Mama Cax at Disneyland, writing, “the work you did on this earth, the lives you touched, the visibility you brought to this world, your beautiful words of strength and standing firm for what you believe… that will be your legacy.”
“Thank you, we love you and we miss you,” Chromat wrote on their Instagram page.
Many others paid tribute in the comments of the post.
Sephora wrote, “We’re heartbroken to hear this tragic news. She was a shining light in our community and a beautiful soul ❤️ The entire Sephora family is sending love and support during this incredibly difficult time.”
Benefit Cosmetics said, “We’re deeply saddened by this sudden loss. She was such a joyful soul and a gift to all those around her. Sending love & light to her loved ones during this difficult time. 💖”
It’s clear that whether you knew Cax or not, she’s left a lasting impact on the fashion industry forever.
“My story is not a sad one,” she said on stage at the Reykjavík Global Forum for Women Leaders. “I don’t think of it as inspirational either. But if it must inspire you, let it inspire you to live life authentically, fearlessly, while empowering others to do the same.”
Though she is gone, her legacy lives on.