Tatjana Patitz Passes Away: According to her agent Corinne Nicolas, Tatjana Patitz’s death at 56 was reported by Vogue on January 11; she passed away from breast cancer.
“Her kid, sister, and parents all still exist. Her demise has left all of us heartbroken, “Nicolas spoke with PEOPLE in a statement. “She was a fierce supporter of animal rights, a kind and generous person, and a caring soul. The preservati on of wild horses was one of the main causes she backed.”
Patitz, one of the first “supermodels,” along with Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington, significantly influenced the modeling world in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
She appeared in some of the era’s most iconic magazine covers and music videos before taking a step back to focus on her love of animals and raising her son Jonah Johnson.
After collaborating with renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh in the late 1980s, the famous German supermodel achieved popularity. But her favorite was the stunning black-and-white British Vogue cover for January 1990.
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She appeared in the cover photo alongside Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista. After the cover shoot, George Michael put her in the renowned “Freedom ’90” music video. In one of the most iconic music videos ever made, all five models entered the stage to lip-synch to Michael’s song.
Patitz said of making the video, “I was in my zone,” in a 2016 interview with The New York Times. “For most of the day, I had to slide up and down the wall. The set had this vast, loft-like air that was dilapidated.
I was lying on a chaise sofa and wearing a black smoking jacket in another arrangement. I believe I was wearing a bustier. Additionally, I was smoking. Even in older movies and video games, smoking was still prevalent.”
Patitz walked innumerable runways and appeared as a model in numerous glitzy publications during the ensuing years, including six times on the cover of Vogue. Over the years, she collaborated with other designers, including Chanel, Donna Karan, Vivienne Westwood, and more.
The supermodel walked her farewell runway show for Etro’s Autumn/Winter 2019/20 presentation during Milan Fashion Week in 2019. In her eulogy on the model, Anna Wintour, a chief content officer of Condé Nast and global editorial director of Vogue, said that Patitz would be remembered for her distinctive beauty.
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After hearing the news of Patitz’s passing, Wintour remarked, “Tatjana was always the European emblem of elegant, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti.” She was more enigmatic, mature, and unreachable than her peers, and it had charm. She was also far less visible than her peers.
Following the news of Patitz’s passing, tributes from the fashion community and beyond flooded in, including a touching letter from Crawford, who has known Patitz since the start of her career.
Crawford uploaded nostalgic images to her Instagram Stories and a picture of her and Patitz to her grid. In the fashion industry, “we were infants together, and I feel like we grew up together,” Crawford remarked.
“We participated in numerous photo sessions and showed backstages together. I think she was quiet, compassionate, sensitive, and curious. Her enthusiasm for the outdoors and animals was contagious. My condolences go out to her family, especially her beloved son.”
Patitz was reared in Sweden after being born in Hamburg, Germany, on March 25, 1966. Jonah, her son, was born in November 2004. According to Vogue, Patitz was a spokesperson for the American Wild Horse Sanctuary and had a profound passion for all animals, especially horses.
Patitz spent several years in California, where she led a quiet life and raised her son away from the media’s gaze. Donations can be sent in Patitz’s honor to Return to Freedom, a national wild horse conservation group, to honor her life and legacy.
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