The BBC reported that the model’s death was confirmed by her family to PA News Agency. “It is with great sadness we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant on 22nd December 2020,” they said in a statement.
“Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed.” The cause of death for the model was not immediately clear. British Vogue also confirmed on Twitter, “The model and designer Stella Tennant has died suddenly at the age of 50, according to a statement released by her family.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Say the Death Is Not Suspicious
Although the model’s cause of death was not immediately released, police did tell the BBC that there were “no suspicious circumstances” surrounding her death.
The Guardian further quoted the family as saying, “Her family ask for their privacy to be respected. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.”
People offered tributes to Tennant on Twitter. Here are some of them:
“As a fan of the art of gender, Stella Tenant took a big role in my research reference and on the list of my muses. RIP the icon #stellatennant.”
“Dear Stella. When you stared at us it was tremulous, fierce, steely, wise. You will be so missed. What grace, intelligence and beauty.”
“THE FIRST TIME WE MEET WAS IN 1994 AT YOUR FIRST VERSACE SHOW AND LAST TIME THREE YEARS AGO IN http://PARIS.YOU ARE AND WILL BE MY ICON AND YOUR BEAUTY WILL LIVE FOREVER. R.I.P.”
“Very sad to hear of the death of #StellaTennant. Always elegant and stylish in whatever she did and boundary breaking in her gender fluid dressing. Here in Holland & Holland. My heart goes out to her children and family. RIP.”
Tennant Was From an Aristocratic Family
According to BBC, Tennant was from an aristocratic British family. She was the granddaughter of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish, and Deborah Mitford.
Her mother was part of a group of siblings known as the “Mitford sisters,” according to Page Six. She was Scottish-born and a muse to famous designers like Karl Lagerfeld, who appreciated her androgynous appearance, the site reported.
She walked the runway for famous fashion designers like Prada, Versace, and Chanel, and she was on the cover of many famous magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and more. Page Six reported that she was also part of the closing ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London, along with other British supermodels.
A biography in Hello Magazine says that Tennant started out taking art courses and had a love of sculpting. But she was spotted by a photographer named Steven Meisel. It wasn’t long before she was walking the catwalk. “When jobs come up I’m still… Wow! Weird!” she said, according to Hello. “Sometimes I see myself and I have no idea why they booked me.”