Supermodel Tatjana Patitz Dead at 56

Patitz is considered one of the original supermodels, with a career spanning decades.

German-born supermodel Tatjana Patitz has died at the age of 56, as announced by Vogue. A cause of death has not been reported.

Patitz is considered one of the original supermodels, with a career spanning decades.

While she was born in Hamburg, her family moved to Sweden when she was a child and she grew up there, getting her start as a model when she was just 17 after entering her first modeling contest.

As reported by Vogue, Patitz won third place, landing her a trip to Paris, France, and a short modeling contract. But it was her work with photographer Peter Lindbergh several years later that really launched her career.

The publication states that her appearance on the supermodels cover for the January 1990 issue of British Vogue caught the attention of George Michael, leading to Patitz's memorable role in the music video for his song “Freedom ’90.” She appeared alongside supermodels Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell.

Speaking with the New York Times in 2016, Patitz said of working with Michael, "I was quite star-struck at the time because I grew up with Wham and their music; he was one of my first teenage crushes. In the five or so times I met him, he was always very pleasant and sweet but timid, not one of those vivacious, out-there people who take a room by storm."

Throughout her career, Patitz had longstanding relationships with many photographers in addition to Lindbergh, including Herb Ritts and Patrick Demarchelier. Of course, she consistently worked with all the major designers as well, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Chanel, and more.

Tatjana Patitz models <a href="https://parade.com/1291312/kelseypelzer/best-christian-gifts/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Christian" class="link ">Christian</a> Dior's 1991 haute-couture winter collection in July 1991 in Paris, France<p>ARNAL/PAT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images</p>
Tatjana Patitz models Christian Dior's 1991 haute-couture winter collection in July 1991 in Paris, France

ARNAL/PAT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Patitz told Prestige in an interview about her love for the designer Azzedine Alaïa, saying, "One of the first designers I ever worked with was Azzedine Alaïa. He was fantastic. He was designing these incredibly sexy things that were all about women and the body."

When asked by the publication why she loved modeling so much, Patitz replied: "The people. I loved the teams I worked with, the photographers. I became closer to them over the years. And I loved the stories we did, the creativity."

Patitz is survived by her 19-year-old son, Jonah Patitz, and her sister, Sophie Patitz.