Supermodel Tatjana Patitz, who starred in George Michael’s ‘Freedom ’90’ music video, dies at age 56

Supermodel Tatjana Patitz has died at the age of 56.

On Wednesday, Vogue shared the news of Patitz’ passing with an obituary, in which it described the supermodel as “the quietest and perhaps the most intense of the original supermodels”.

In the article, the fashion magazine notes that Patitz was born in Hamburg, Germany, before moving with her family to Skanör, Sweden, when she was young. There, the model would begin her modelling career at age 17 when she entered an Elite Model Contest.

However, as noted by Vogue, Patitz’ career started slowly, with the supermodel only beginning to become a well-known name after she was photographed by Peter Lindberg for “White Shirts: Six Supermodels, Malibu” in 1988, and later, for British Vogue’s January 1990 cover.

The photos marked a turning point in Patitz’ career, with the German-born supermodel cast by George Michael in his “Freedom ‘90” music video alongside Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista shortly after.

Patitz later went on to model for brands including Chanel, Donna Karan, and Vivienne Westwood, with the model last walking the runway in 2019 for Etro’s Autumn/Winter 2019/20 presentation.

On social media, the Peter Lindbergh Foundation posted a tribute to Patitz, writing: “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.”

Vogue’s obituary also includes a statement from its editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who remembered Patitz as “the European symbol of chic”.

“Tatjana was always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti,” Wintour said. “She was far less visible than her peers – more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable – and that had its own appeal.”

Patitz’ death was confirmed by her agent at the Model CoOp agency, who said the cause was illness but did not provide further details, according to the Associated Press.

The Independent has contacted the agency for comment.

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