Sat. May 25th, 2024

Supermodel Tatjana Patitz dead at 56

Patitz starred in George Michael’s ‘Freedom ’90’ music video along with Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and more iconic models

Tatjana Patitz, a 1990s supermodel, has died. She was 56.

Patitz’s death in the Santa Barbara, California, area was confirmed to The Associated Press by her New York agent, Corinne Nicolas, at the Model CoOp agency. Nicolas said the cause was illness but did not share further details.

Vogue first announced Patitz’s passing on Wednesday. The magazine quoted its global editorial director, Anna Wintour, as saying Patitz was “always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti. She was far less visible than her peers — more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable — and that had its own appeal.”

Tatjana Patitz walks the runway

Supermodel Tatjana Patitz has died at 56. (Victor Virgile/File)

The model rose to fame in the 1980s and entered her first modeling contest when she was 17 in Stockholm. Her career began after she was photographed by Peter Lindbergh in 1988 for his famous photo, “White Shirts: Six Supermodels, Malibu.”

Vogue helped jump-start Patitz’s career at a young age.

In 1990, she modeled for British Vogue, which landed her an appearance in George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” music video. Patitz starred alongside fellow supermodels Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington.

“People always said that I looked special, that I didn’t look like anyone else,” the supermodel told Vogue in 1988. “And I was going to make it because of that.”

Photographer Peter Lindbergh and model Tatjana Patitz

Photographer Peter Lindbergh and Patitz in 2016. (Frazer Harrison/File)

In a 2006 interview, Patitz opined that the golden age of supermodels was over.

“There was a real era, and the reason that happened was because glamour was brought into it,” she was quoted as saying in Prestige Hong Kong magazine. “Now the celebrities and actresses have taken over, and the models are in the backseat completely.”

Tatjana Patitz 1992

Patitz walks the runway at the Karl Lagerfeld Spring/Summer 1992 fashion show. (Victor Virgile/File)

She also noted that models from her era had healthier physiques.

Patitz walked the runway for several designers, including Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Donna Karan, Vivienne Westwood and more.

Tatjana Patitz Paris Fashion Week

Patitz walks the runway at the Chanel Spring/Summer 1991-92 fashion show. (Victor Virgile/File)

“Women were healthy, not these scrawny little models that nobody knows their names anymore,” Patitz said.

Tatjana Patitz and her son Jonah

Patitz and her son, Jonah Johnson, attend the recent Tribute to Bambi 2022 in Berlin. (Gerald Matzka/File)

She is survived by her son, Jonah Johnson, who followed in his mother’s footsteps and became a model. In 2022, Patitz told Vogue, “Jonah is my source of happiness.” source