Tatjana Patitz was 56 when she died the most quietly and intensely of the original supermodels.
Patitz moved to Skanör, a coastal town in the South of Sweden, when she was very young. She was born in Hamburg, Germany to an Estonian mother and German father. Patitz said she never sold her soul in a 2020 interview; instead, she said her competitive horse rider tomboy nature helped her win the Elite Model Contest in Stockholm in 1983 when she was 17 years old. A trip to Paris and a time-limited contract third place finishers receive as a prize. As stated in Vogue in 1988, Tatjana took a year to find work after her star was born.
German photographer Peter Lindbergh is an important person in Patitz’s career. He preferred images with natural beauty and refused to retouch them; this earned him fame for his unaltered photographs. Lindbergh photographed Patitz for the “White Shirts: Six Supermodels, Malibu” image in 1988, and he also shot the January 1990 British Vogue cover. George Michael used this cover in his “Freedom ’90” music video, which he directed using the same models.
Patitz was one of the very first supermodels. She never seemed to be part of a “pack” because she lived in California instead of Paris or New York. Patitz was more interested in animals and nature than living in a city. This is why she chose to live in California instead of either city. People were fascinated by her natural beauty and her passion for life. Anna Wintour, the global editorial director of Vogue and chief content officer of Condé Nast, praises Tatjana’s elusive chic. Romy Schneider, a Monica Vitti mix, perfectly represents this personality trait, according to Wintour.
Patitz donned a womanlike allure with ease and sophistication. She conveyed this look through her training as an actor. As she told the American Vogue in 1988, “Tatjana: Million Dollar Beauty,” people always noticed her distinct looks and remarked on her appearance. Consequently, they believed she would achieve success because of it.