The fashion industry is remembering the life and legacy of late German supermodel tatjana patitz.
On Wednesday, Vogue announced the news of her death, the cause of which has not been made public. She was 56.
Considered one of the original supermodels, the Germany-born, Sweden-raised catwalker was also known for her appearance in George Michaels‘ “Freedom ’90” music video. Patitz starred alongside her peers and fellow supers Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.
Remembering her legacy and impact, members of the fashion community — from Patitz’s model comrades and artists to photographers and editors — shared tributes on social media.
“Tatjana was always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti,” said Anna Wintourchief content officer of Condé Nast and global editorial director of Vogue. “She was far less visible than her peers—more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable—and that had its own appeal.”
Shortly after Vogue released the news, late German photographer Peter Lindbergh’s team responded to her passing on Twitter, their post reading: “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.”
Lindbergh’s team also shared a separate tribute to Instagram — a striking black-and-white portrait of Patitz. The photographer, who died in 2019 at age 74, worked with Patitz and helped grow her career in 1988.
Supermodel Helena Christensen commented, “This is deeply deeply sad,” and also reposted a video of Patitz, originally shared by makeup artist Stephane Marais on her Instagram Story. “Heartbroken,” she wrote.
Marais’ video, a scene pulled from a vintage black-and-white montage, captured the essence of the late model’s drive and passion.
“I’m willing really to give as much as I can for it. Creativity to me is life in a sense,” Patitz says in the clip. “The different parts that you have to portray – it’s all inspirational. I love to experience it, I love to give to it – I love to give it as it feeds me because it feeds me in an incredible way. You know it’s almost like a little fire inside of you burning for it.”
Marais, who remembered Patitz as an “angel,” captioned the post: “An Angel just left us….A devastating awful news….I am heart broken…My loved Tatjana rest in peace.All my thoughts to her Son, Family and friends..Love you.”
Celebrity makeup artist Patti Dubroff also opened up about her moments working with Patitz, writing on Instagram: “@tatjanapatitz was one of the first models I met and connected with when we were both in our early 20s. She was already a “supermodel” and i was ‘just’ an assistant. She was kind, cool and so down to earth.”