Stella Tennant Dies Aged 50
British model Stella Tennant has died at the age of 50.
Her family confirmed her “sudden” death this afternoon in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant. Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed, ”they wrote in a statement, adding that arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
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Best known for her androgynous look, Tennant was one of the most iconic faces of the nineties fashion scene, a muse of the late Karl Lagerfeld, and a regular on the catwalks of brands like Chanel, Burberry and Alexander McQueen.
She has spent her final years in Scotland with her family but is still connected to fashion: in 2016 she worked with her old friend Isabella Cawdor to work on a women's collection for Chanel's own Holland and Holland that is filled with tradition is cashmere knits and tweeds made in the mills in Hawick, Scotland.
"Stella Tennant was an exceptionally close friend of Chanel and worked with the house for more than 25 years, from the mid-1990s when Karl Lagerfeld was first inspired by her to this day," the French house said in a statement. “She was such an iconic and inspiring woman who embodied the modern spirit of Chanel through her independence, elegance and disrespect. Her incredible beauty, both inside and out, was matched by her irrepressible wit and humor. "
When she entered the fashion scene in the nineties - discovered by the late Isabella Blow - Tennant immediately became the icon of the grunge era and a new generation of models who were nervous and unconventionally beautiful. With her nose ring, dark eyeliner, and short, cropped hair, the aristocratic Tennant was so different from the supermodels who had preceded her.
She proved herself to be a chameleon over the next several decades, working with some of the best photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Paolo Roversi, Bruce Weber, and Peter Lindbergh, and working with a variety of brands on projects other than modeling.
“It is with great sadness that I hear of the loss of Stella Tennant. Before she was a particularly beautiful woman, she was a remarkable person: the embodiment of elegance that comes from within. I was always impressed with her natural posture. Stella was different and conspicuous, conspicuous. Her presence always illuminated the picture with wit and ease. We will miss it ”, said Giorgio Armani, who used the model in the past for front campaigns for his brand of the same name.
“Stella marked a turning point in the aesthetics and language of fashion: With her elegant grace, her flowing talent and her communicative strength, she was much more than a model. A unique and timeless beauty beyond stereotypes, ”said Veronica Etro.
Charming and articulate, she was always the amiable Aristo and always seemed to easily carry her fame and her family background. She was a granddaughter of the late Deborah "Debo" Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, and the Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish, and spent much of her childhood in and outside of Chatsworth in Derbyshire, one of the largest and most famous houses in England.
She is the daughter of Lady Emma Cavendish and the Hon. Tobias William Tennant, a Scottish aristocrat. She was married to photographer David Lasnet, a Paris-born photographer who turned osteopath. The couple had four children.
The fashion community jointly expressed shock and sadness over the unexpected death of the model.
"What sad, terrible news to end this already shocking year," said Stella McCartney. "My heart goes to Stella's stunning family who must be in such undeserved pain. I am speechless. An inspiring woman, her soul and inner beauty surpassed external perfection. Stella always had a grace and a light that she carried around with her everywhere , feeling lucky to have known her. Perhaps she will ride the most perfect horse high above us all forever. "
After modeling Tennant in the 1990s, Calvin Klein said, “Stella had a natural elegance - a refinement that made her stand out. She wasn't just a model. She has brought her personality to all of her work and she will be greatly missed. "
Stylist Katie Grand praised her work ethic on set: “Stella was a particularly inspiring person to work with. Her beauty and talent were exceptional. She worked incredibly hard, was always cool, and wore beautiful clothes. As it matured, it became even more beautiful, ”said Grand.
After working with the model for so many years, Weber said they were "great friends". The photographer described Tennant as “a gift to all photographers wrapped in a giant Scottish plaid bow. She's never worried about looking beautiful, which of course she always has. "
Weber recalled once asking her to be photographed for the Pirelli calendar and said Tennant laughed at the idea "because no one had ever asked her before". Weber said, "Joe McKenna was styling and we decided that instead of a black low-cut, tight dress, she would wear a gorilla outfit and hold her head so we know it is her. She said to me, "Bruce, I was bragging all over London that I was doing the Pirelli calendar and then you put me in a gorilla outfit."
He continued: "Fearless as ever, she sat proudly for her portrait - partly dazzling lady, partly dazzling gorilla."
Piero Piazzi, president of the Women Management Milan modeling agency, said Tennant was “one of the most wonderful and nicest models I've worked with in 35 years. She was always in a good mood and always on time. We always stayed in contact, she even came to my wedding. “Piazzi remembered how early her“ eccentric ”looked,“ her pierced nose, her punky ”image was ahead of its time. "Although she was very versatile, her gait never changed, he was always very strong on the runway, regardless of the brand she was working with."
Designer Alber Elbaz called Tennant a friend and an icon. "She always showed me what I love about fashion," he said. “I will miss her very much. I send all of my love and support to her family whom she loved with all my heart. We all mourn with you. "
For Alberta Ferretti, who has worked with Tennant on many occasions, including her brand's Spring and Spring 2001 campaigns directed by Paolo Roversi, it was Tennant's “special beauty” that always stood out: “What I've always liked about Stella , is her humanity and the fact that she was a person of substance: her personality was reflected in the camera and on the catwalk, adding character and a strong sense of reality to the clothes, ”added Ferreti.
Bouchra Jarrar, Tennant's creative director for a Lanvin campaign, said, “Stella embodied pure elegance, and her androgynous beauty highlighted the feminine. She embodied the strength of quiet beauty.
Sandra Baucknecht, founder of Sandra's Closet, got to know the model when she was working as a fashion designer for the German Marie Claire in the late 1990s. Bauchnet said, “Stella filled a room with grace. When we were in Cuba with Chanel in 2016, Karl Lagerfeld photographed Stella for the exhibition “Obra en Proceso / Work in Progress”. There were a lot of people in the gallery, but you could see Stella straight away. She was born with this outstanding aristocratic beauty and a really inspiring and loving soul. "
“I discovered fashion and Stella Tennant almost at the same time in the mid-1990s, so that they would become synonymous. Stella was a woman who easily captured the elegance and sophistication of a certain dream of Britain, and yet her beauty remained seductively enigmatic, "said Salvatore Ferragamo's creative director Paul Andrew.
“I had the pleasure of meeting and working with her when she was on my first campaign for Ferragamo and the show opened a season later. She was kind and grateful. Everything, including the small talk, was personal. It was a dream to work with her and it feels equally surreal, not to mention the heartbreaking feeling that she has left us, ”added Andrew.
British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful offered condolences to his Instagram feed and shared the December 2018 cover of Vogue UK with a silver-haired tennant wearing a dramatic Valentino navy dress and photographed by Steven Meisel.
Tennant frequented Vogue covers, one of the most famous being the much discussed July 2013 issue of Vogue Italia entitled “Revolution”.
“Stella Tennant is exceptionally charming and one of the most important fashion interpreters for the past 30 years. It moved seamlessly from grunge to haute couture, from tomboy to ladylike. Perhaps what made them stand out most was their timeless elegance. As the muse for the greatest photographers and designers of our time, it graced the pages of all major magazines and has a special place in the history of Vogue Italia, ”said Emanuele Farneti, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia.
Donatella Versace, for example, showed a black and white picture of Tennant modeling a dramatic skirt with a leopard print. “We met at the beginning of your career. I cherish every moment we spent together, ”she wrote.
Like his colleagues, Burberry's Riccardo Tisci spoke of Tennant's unique looks, but also highlighted her friendly energy as a friend and mother. “Stella Tennant was a true icon. Just like her name, Stella was a precious, shining star. She was an incredible woman, a dedicated mother and a timeless beauty, full of elegance and love. I deeply respected Stella, who was a wonderful friend to me on our journey through the industry together. She had this aura and energy that was brimming with kindness and wisdom, "said Tisci. “Stella was the perfect embodiment of that unique British eclecticism - elegant and punk - her individuality was beyond compare and I couldn't have started my chapter at Burberry without her. Working with her on my first show and campaign at Burberry will always be unforgettable. Her legacy and beauty will remain in our runs forever - I will miss my sweet friend, my star, so much and wish her and her loved ones peace. "
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