British model Stella Tennant has died at the age of 50. Her sudden death was confirmed by her family in a statement to the PA news agency.
“It is with great sadness we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant on 22nd December 2020,” the statement read. Her family asked for their privacy to be respected and said that arrangements for a memorial service would be announced at a later date.
Tennant, who was born in Scotland, was the granddaughter of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish, and Deborah Mitford, one of the six Mitford sisters.
She began modelling in 1993 and shot to fame after being photographed by the likes of Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber for magazines including the British, French and Italian editions of Vogue.
Soon after, she became a muse to Karl Lagerfeld and signed an exclusive contract to become the face of Chanel. Her androgynous look became a staple of runways for Versace and Alexander McQueen.
Tennant announced her retirement in 1998 after becoming pregnant with her first child but resumed modelling work in 2001, alongside designing a knitwear line for Burberry. More recently, she fronted Oxfam’s “Second Hand September” campaign in 2019 and walked Valentino‘a haute couture runway show in January.
The news of the model’s death has been met by tributes from within the industry, including Stella McCartney, model Erin O’Connor, stylist Alice Gentilucci and and brands including Versace.
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