Top model Tatjana Patitz – who shared the cover with Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford – dies at age 56
The German top model Tatjana Patitz has died at the age of 56 in California. Her family announced the news on Wednesday. Patitz belonged to the absolute top of the fashion world in the 80s and 90s and graced countless magazine covers.
She was also seen in the clip for the song “Freedom” by George Michael. An exact cause of death has not been disclosed.
Top model Tatjana Patitz has passed away at the age of 56
Patitz was born in 1966 in the German city of Hamburg and then moved to Sweden with her parents. At the age of seventeen she had her breakthrough thanks to a modeling competition in Stockholm. Soon after, she became the face for brands like Versace and Chanel, doing numerous photo shoots. She also grew into a banner for Vogue magazine, where she was on the cover several times. Together with colleagues such as Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, she belonged to the select group of absolute top models. It is also with them that she can be seen in the world-famous music video for George Michael’s song ‘Freedom’. Tatjana also worked as a model in recent years. In 2019, for example, she walked the catwalk in Milan for the fashion house Etro.
“Tatjana was the European epitome of class, a cross between Romy Schneider and Monica Vitti,” says Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. “She may have been a little less in the spotlight than her colleagues, but that was precisely her appeal. She was a bit mysterious and therefore more difficult to reach than the rest.”
The model also worked closely with acclaimed photographer Peter Lindbergh. “I admire Tatyana because she always remains herself,” he wrote about her in his book “10 Women”. “She is very gentle, but at the same time she is firm and stands up for her opinion. It was an enormous enrichment to be around her. It is impossible not to admire her.” Lindbergh took an iconic photo of Patitz in 1990, along with Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. The snap made the cover of Vogue and the models were dubbed ‘the big five’.
Patitz is survived by one son, Jonah, from her failed marriage to Jason Johnson. Before that, she had relationships with singer Seal, ‘James Bond’ actor Pierce Brosnan and singer Nick Kamen, among others.
Photo Credits: Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz en Naomi Campbell in 1989. © © Herb Ritts