Tatjana Patitz: Fashion world pays tribute after supermodel dies aged 56

Tatjana Patitz: Fashion world pays tribute after supermodel dies aged 56

Tributes have been paid to supermodel Tatjana Patitz after her death at the age of 56.

Patitz's death in Santa Barbara, California, was confirmed on Wednesday by her New York agent, Corinne Nicolas, at the Model CoOp agency.

Ms Nicolas said the cause was illness, but did not provide further details.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Patitz rose to prominence as a high-fashion model in the 1980s and 1990s.

Along with her successful modelling career, Patitz also starred in the music video for George Michael’s hit Freedom! alongside fellow models Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell.

She also featured in several other music videos, including the video for Duran Duran’s Skin Trade and the Nick Kamen music video for Tell Me.

Tatjana Patitz - In pictures

(Getty Images)
: (AP)
(Getty Images)
: (AP)
(Getty Images for Chanel)
(Getty Images)
: (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Remembering the model on Vogue.com, chief operating officer of Conde Nast and global editorial director of Vogue Anna Wintour said: “Tatjana was always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti.”

She added: “She was far less visible than her peers, more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable, and that had its own appeal.”

During her career Patitz worked with a number of high-profile fashion photographers including Peter Lindbergh whose 1990 British Vogue cover featured the biggest models at the time, including Patitz.

The black and white image once again showed her in the company of Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell.

Patitz leaves behind one son, 19-year-old Jonah Patitz.

Following the news of her death, the Peter Lindbergh Foundation paid tribute to the model on its official Twitter account, writing: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tatjana Patitz, a long-time friend of Peter’s.

“We would like to salute Tatjana’s kindness, inner beauty and outstanding intelligence.

“Our thoughts go to her loved ones and particularly Jonah. She will be immensely missed.”

Modelling agency K Management paid tribute to Patitz as “the super of the supers”.

“She was The First Supermodel and her presence has changed everything,” the firm wrote on Instagram.

“Her passion for nature, animals and mother earth was just a piece of the incredible and unique human being she was. Rest in heaven Eternal Legend”.

Meanwhile Italian fashion journalist Anna Dello Russo, editor-at-large for Vogue Japan, described Patitz on Instagram as a “beautiful soul”, alongside a selection of photographs.

Photographer David Turnley shared a photo he took of Patitz backstage at Paris Fashion Show during the early ‘90s, writing: “I am so saddened to learn that she passed away today.”

Photographer Greg Gorman, sharing a photo on Instagram of himself with Patitz, described her as a “brilliant friend and one of the extraordinary super models”.

“Gone way too soon,” he wrote. “One of the sweetest, kindest and wickedly funny girls I ever had the privilege to get to know.”