British model, fashion muse Stella Tennant dies at 50
LONDON (AP) - Stella Tennant, the aristocratic British model who was a muse to designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace, died suddenly at the age of 50, her family announced on Wednesday.
The granddaughter of a duke, Tennant, rose to fame in the 1990s walking the catwalk for Versace, Alexander McQueen, and other designers.
In a statement, her family said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant on December 22nd."
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“Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be missed very much, "it said.
The family asked for privacy and said arrangements for a memorial service would be announced later. They did not disclose their cause of death.
According to Police Scotland, officials were called to an address in the town of Duns, Scottish Borders on Tuesday following the sudden death of a 50-year-old woman. The police said there were no suspicious circumstances.
Tennant, the granddaughter of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish, and his wife, Deborah Mitford, from a glamorous, bohemian aristocratic family, was one of the leading British models of the 1990s.
At the end of the decade, Lagerfeld announced her as the new face of Chanel with an exclusive modeling contract and she became a muse for the designer.
Versace fashion house paid tribute to Tennant on Twitter, saying, “Versace is mourning Stella Tennant. Stella was Gianni Versace's muse and family friend for many years. We will miss you forever, Stella. Rest in peace."
Donatella Versace posted a photo of Tennant on Instagram to pay tribute to the model.
"Stella, I can't believe you're gone," she wrote. "You left us way too early. We met when you were at the beginning of your career. I cherish every moment we spent together. Ciao. Rest in peace. "
Stella McCartney said she was "speechless" after hearing the news.
"What sad, terrible news to end this already shocking year!" McCartney wrote in a post on Instagram that included a photo of her and Tennant. “Rest in peace, you inspiring woman. Your soul and inner beauty exceeded outer perfection, Stella. "
Tennant also appeared in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Hermes, and Burberry.
In 1999 Tennant married the French photographer David Lasnet. She is survived by him and her four children.
"When I first met Stella, I was absolutely thrilled," said fashion designer Marc Jacobs on social media. “Her beauty, style and body language combined with her manners, friendliness, sense of humor and personality were like no other. My condolences to David and her family. What a terrible, heartbreaking loss. "
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