Supermodel Tatjana Patitz dies aged 56

Tatjana Patitz and George Michael
Tatjana Patitz, the supermodel who appeared in a George Michael video, has died. Photo credit: Supplied

Tatjana Patitz has died at the age of 56.

The model, who rose to international prominence in the '80s and '90s, passed away of an undisclosed cause on Wednesday.

A representative from Patitz's agency, The Model CoOp, confirmed the sad news in an Instagram post.

"Today, our beauty Tatjana Patitz, passed away," they wrote. "As one of the original Supers and through her work with Patrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts, and Peter Lindbergh, Tatjana's career in the fashion industry stands apart."

Born in Germany and raised in Sweden, Patitz started modelling in the early '80s and landed her first British Vogue cover in 1985.

She soon became known for her collaborations with photographer Peter Lindbergh and was included in Herb Ritts's portrait of the original supermodels alongside the likes of Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell.

In 1990, Patitz appeared in the music video for 'Freedom! '90' by George Michael, and later fronted campaigns for luxury labels such as Chanel, Versace, and Jil Sander.

In a tribute, US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour recalled how the star was always the most "mysterious" of all the supermodels.

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

Patitz is survived by her 19-year-old son Jonah.