Tatjana Patitz, a famed '90s supermodel, has died at age 56.
The news was confirmed by a representative who revealed to Vogue that the cause of death was metastatic breast cancer.
Patitz was among the group of elite models including Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, who graced the covers of magazines and walked the runways during the '80s and '90s.
"I never sold my soul," Patitz said in a 2020 interview.
Born in Hamburg and raised in Sweden, Patitz got her start at 17 when she entered an Elite Model Contest in Stockholm. She placed third and secured a limited-time contract and trip to Paris but as Vogue noted, "a star was not quickly born. Tatjana found no work for a year."
Patitz rose to prominence several years later, when she collaborated with famed fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh, who shot Patitz and several other high-profile supermodels for his 1988 campaign, "White Shirts: Six Supermodels, Malibu."
Two years later, they would collaborate again for a British Vogue cover. That issue gained the attention of George Michael, who invited the same cast of models to appear in the music video for his hit, "Freedom! '90."
In 2006, Patitz admitted she believed the golden age of modeling was over while discussing the modern modeling landscape with Prestige Hong Kong magazine.
"There was a real era, and the reason that happened was because glamour was brought into it," Patitz noted. "Now the celebrities and actresses have taken over, and the models are in the backseat completely."
Patitz added that the physiques of models had changed dramatically from when she graced the cover of magazines.
"Women were healthy, not these scrawny little models that nobody knows their names anymore."
News of her death has plunged the fashion world into mourning.
Anna Wintour, Vogue's Editor-in-Chief, paid homage to Patitz, writing, "always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti. She was far less visible than her peers — more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable — and that had its own appeal."
Crawford also remembered Patitz in an Instagram post that recalled their beginnings.
"We were babies together in the fashion industry and I feel like we grew up together," she captioned a photo of the two of them together. "We were in so many shoots together and backstage at shows. I found her soft-spoken, sensitive, kind, inquisitive and, who could ever forget those piercing eyes. Her love of animals and nature was infectious."
Campbell shared her own memories of Patitz, calling her "earth angel."
"When I met you at 16 at the Alaia show, I remember just saying 'wow!!' Your presence and stature," she captioned a collection of photos from over the years. "Your eyes and nervous shy smile, goddess energy that we were all drawn to…My first time in LA I got to experience it with you, showing me the sites and beaches, driving around in your red Volkswagen convertible."
Campbell added that she would "forever be grateful and cherish the beautiful memories."
"My deepest condolences to Jonah, Sophie, family and loved ones. May you have eternal peace… You're up with Papa," she concluded.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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