Nyima Ward, Son of Model Trish Goff, Has Died at Age 27: He 'Lived Fiercely, Loved Deeply'

Ward was a model himself and worked with designers including Anna Sui and John Varvatos

<p>Alamy</p> Nyima Ward in 2015.


Nyima Ward in 2015.

Model Nyima Ward, the son of model and animal activist Trish Goff and Aaron Ward, has died at age 27, according to an online obituary celebrating his life.

"Nyima Lee Ward of Ocala, Florida blew into this world on January 2, 1997 destined to live life his own way," the obituary, posted by RobertsFunerals.com, reads. "He left it May 29, 2024 having lived fiercely, loved deeply and made memories with the kind of fervor that only a young man who never met a stranger could do."

The obituary does not include a cause of death.

Nyima is described as "a boy of the world" who loved to travel and care for animals.

"It wouldn’t have been unheard of to find Nyima with a stray animal he’d saved on the side of the road or calling his mom to ask about animal care tips," reads the obituary.

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Makeup artist Aaron de Mey shared the news of Nyima's death with a heartfelt tribute on Instagram on Monday, June 3.

"My dearest Nyima 🫅🏻 Rest in peace. 🕊️" de Mey's caption reads. "I absolutely adore you…always an adventure, always fun, always sensitive, always kind. Sending deepest love to your Mom, Dad and your many friends and family."

The makeup artist's post included photos of Nyima as a child with his parents as well as a more recent photo of the model with his signature long hair. Many fashion industry mainstays including photographers Inez and Vinoodh and hairstylists Harry Josh and Peter Butler shared their condolences in the comments.

Goff made a splash as a top model in the '90s, appearing in campaigns for designers including Chanel, Christian Dior and YSL. She later received her real estate license in New York City and now holds a position as Global Advisor for Sotheby's Realty. She has since moved to Kenya with Bonnouvrier to work for a wildlife conservatory. The couple built a home next to Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to deepen their activism.

Nyima started modeling at age 18. After his parents' split, Goff began dating David Bonnouvrier, the owner of DNA Models, and the couple eventually convinced Nyima to sign with the agency.

"They’ve just been trying to get me to sign forever and I was always like, “Nah, nah.” And then I turned 18 and I was like, “Might as well try it,'" the model told W in 2017.

His waist-length dark hair and chiseled cheekbones helped secure Nyima a handful of high-profile jobs, working with legendary fashion photographers such as Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber. He made his runway debut in 2015 for Anna Sui, 23 years after his mom made her runway debut for the very same designer.

Nyima also walked the runway for designer John Varvatos.

<p>Alamy</p> Nyima Ward walks the runway for John Varvatos, 2015.


Nyima Ward walks the runway for John Varvatos, 2015.

Despite early success in the fashion world, Nyima viewed modeling as a side project.

"It’s less a career and more just something on the side," he told W. "I know a lot of the people in the industry so lots of time I’ll get people that I knew growing up like, 'Oh, can I shoot you?' Or something like that. Or my agents are like, 'Oh, this would be really cool for you to do.' And might as well. I don’t really see it as a long-term career, definitely not."

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