Although this is marked as the most wonderful time of the year, a lot of tragedy has struck over the past few weeks. The sports and entertainment world has suffered great loses and now the fashion industry joins its company. It is being reported that China Machado has passed away.

According to Us Magazine, China Machado, an iconic Asian model, passed away at the age of 87 on Sunday, December 18, after suffering from cardiac arrest on Thursday, December 15.

The Chinese-Portugese model who was born Noel e Souza Machado made her mark in the fashion industry as the muse to the great Richard Avedon.

“I knew I was considered kind of ‘exotic,’ if you want to use that word, in Europe, but it wasn’t any kind of a slur. So when I came here I didn’t know that,” she told New York Magazine of her barrier-breaking cover in an October 2016 interview. “I was new to New York and going to parties. I met everybody. I met Kennedy at that point. So I didn’t know that! I had no idea! When I went back to Paris, it was then that Dick said that he would not sign his contract for another seven years unless those pictures were published. And he never told that to me until 20 years later.”

The site reports that her working relationship with Avedon jumpstarted her historical moment as becoming the first non-white model to  to appear on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1959. She went on to become senior fashion editor and eventually fashion director for the same publication. 

Despite the horrors of growing old for many models, Machado aged gracefully and still dominated the industry landing Cole Haan’s Born in 1928 campaign to celebrate the brand and her own 85th birthday along with Maya Angelou, Elliott Erwitt and Captain Jim Lovell. 

Breaking into the modeling industry is not an easy feat and through Machado's struggles she has established herself as one of the greats to grace the industry. Her work, spirit and charisma will certainly be missed.

Machado is survived by her husband, Ricardo Rosa, daughters Blanche LaSalle and Emmanuelle LaSalle-Hill, and two grandchildren.