On Wednesday, December 23, the family of British model Stella Tennant confirmed the news of her sudden death. Tennant, whose androgynous look made her one of the most memorable faces of the ’90s, passed away on December 22 at the age of 50.
“Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all,” the family wrote in a statement to press. “She will be greatly missed.” They asked that their privacy be respected at this time. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Born in Scotland with an aristocratic background, Tennant started her modeling career in an era where supermodels ruled the catwalks. Her strong look and septum piercing caught the attention of fashion writers, photographers like Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber, and designers like Karl Lagerfeld, who made her the face of Chanel with an exclusive contract. (You can see some of her best runway moments here.)
In the last two years alone, Tennant walked runways for Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga. She also began to focus on raising awareness about fashion’s environmental impact. She is survived by her four children with David Lasnet.
On January 6, Stella Tennant’s family confirmed the circumstances of her death. The cause was suicide, according to a statement in the the Telegraph.
“We have been humbled by the outpouring of messages of sympathy and support since Stella died,” the family is quoted as saying. “She was a beautiful soul, adored by a close family and good friends, a sensitive and talented woman whose creativity, intelligence and humor touched so many.”
“Stella had been unwell for some time,” the statement continues. “So it is a matter of our deepest sorrow and despair that she felt unable to go on, despite the love of those closest to her. In grieving Stella’s loss, her family renews a heartfelt request that respect for their privacy should continue.”
In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.