The fashion industry is commemorating the life and legacy of the late German supermodel Tatjana Patitz.
On Wednesday, Fashion announced the news of her death, the cause of which has not been released. She was 56.
Considered one of the original supermodels, this German-born Swedish cat was also known for her role in George Michaels’ “Freedom ’90” music video. Patitz starred alongside her peers and colleagues Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.
Members of the fashion community — from Patitz’s comrades and artists to photographers and editors — shared tributes on social media, commemorating her legacy and impact.
“Tatiana has always been a European symbol of elegance, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti,” said Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s chief content officer and global editorial director Fashion. “She was much less visible than her peers—more mysterious, more mature, more elusive—and that had its own appeal.
Shortly after that Fashion released the news, the team of the late German photographer Peter Lindbergh responded to her death on Twitter, and their post read: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tatjana Patitz, Peter’s longtime friend. We would like to salute Tatjana’s kindness, inner beauty and exceptional intelligence. Our thoughts go out to her loved ones and especially to Jonáš. He will be greatly missed.”
Lindbergh’s team also shared a separate Instagram tribute — a striking black-and-white portrait of Patitz. The photographer, who died in 2019 at the age of 74, worked with Patitz and helped her grow in 1988.
Supermodel Helena Christensen commented, “This is deeply deeply sad,” and also reposted a video of Patitz that makeup artist Stephane Marais originally shared on his Instagram Story. “Heartbroken,” she wrote.
Marais’ video, a scene pulled from a historic black-and-white montage, captured the essence of the late model’s enthusiasm and passion.
“I’m willing to give really as much as I can for it. Creativity is life for me in a way,” Patitz says in the clip. “The different parts that you have to play – it’s all inspiring. I love experiencing it, I love giving it – I love giving it because it feeds me, because it feeds me in an incredible way. You know, it’s almost like a little fire inside you Fire.”
Marais, who remembered Patitz as an “angel,” captioned the post: “An angel has just left us….Devastating terrible news….I am heartbroken…My beloved Tatjana rests in peace. All my thoughts to her son, family and friends.. I love you.”
Celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff also opened up about her time 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 nice, cool and down to earth.”