Tatjana Patitz: The Supermodel Who Defined an Era of Fashion

Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/ ARNAL-PICOT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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It’s safe to say that Tatjana Patitz was an OG when it came to fashion and runways. She was dubbed as one of the original supermodels featured in hundreds of magazines throughout the 80s and 90s. Along with Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell, Patitz was part of the “big six” models who dominated the fashion industry during the era.

Growing up in Sweden, the model entered one of her first modeling competitions in Stockholm at the young age of 17 back in 1983. The top prize for the competition was a trip to Paris and a limited-time contract, however, she placed third and couldn’t find work for over a year.

The Big Six

A visitor looks at a photograph of (fromL) US model Cindy Crawford, German model Tatjana Patitz, Danish model Helena Christensen, Canadian model Linda Evangelista, German model Claudia Schiffer, British model Naomi Campbell, Dutch model Karen Mulder and US model Stephanie Seymour taken by German photographer Peter Lindbergh during the preparation of the 35th edition of the international contemporary art fair FIAC, at the Grand Palais in Paris, on October 21, 2008. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

That’s when she came in contact with German photographer Peter Lindbergh who basically changed her life. In 1988 she was photographed for the iconic image White Shirts: Six Supermodels, Malibu by Lindbergh and was also featured on British Vogue’s January 1990 Supermodel cover. Her striking features and statuesque frame made her a favorite of photographers and designers alike. She graced the covers of countless magazines, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.

We also got to see her in several music videos including one for George Michael where she lip-synced in his Freedom ’90s music video. Let’s not forget her cameo in Duran Duran’s Skin Trade music video in 1987, which charted on the billboard hot 100, as well as Nick Kamen’s music video for the song Tell Me.

Back in 2000, she also made an appearance in the music video for Korn’s “Make Me Bad”  which hit the top 10 on the Billboard mainstream rock song chart.  In addition to her successful modeling career, Patitz also dabbled in acting, appearing in films such as “The Legends of the Fall” and “Virus”. 

Despite her busy schedule, Patitz always maintained a low-key personal life, shying away from the spotlight and staying out of the gossip pages. This, combined with her striking looks and undeniable talent, helped to cement her status as a true fashion icon.

Let’s take a look at some of her best runway fashion looks. 

Tatjana Patitz lors du défilé de Haute-couture Christian Dior hiver 1991 en juillet 1991 à Paris, France. (Photo by ARNAL/PAT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Portrait du mannequin Tatjana Patitz coiffée d’un chapeau-cage excentrique sur un tailleur jupe-veste rouge au défilé de haute-couture Guy Laroche pour la collection printemps-été 92 en janvier 1992 à Paris, France. (Photo by ARNAL-PICOT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Tatiana Patitz au défilé Junko Shimada, Prêt-à-Porter, collection Automne-Hiver 1992-93 à Paris en mars 1992, France. (Photo by ARNAL/GARCIA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY: Tatjana Patitz walks the runway at the Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1991-1992 fashion show during the Paris Fashion Week in July, 1991 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER: Tatjana Patitz walks the runway during the Chanel Ready to Wear show as part of Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 1992-1993 in October, 1992 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER: Tatjana Patitz walks the runway at the Chanel Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 1991-1992 fashion show during the Paris Fashion Week in October, 1991 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Read More: Supermodel Tatjana Patitz Passes Away at 56, Cause of Death Confirmed by Agent

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