The Fashion World Pays Tribute to Stella Tennant

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Stella Tennant for AnOther Magazine A/W09Photography Hedi Slimane, styled by Alister Mackie

The iconic British model died suddenly this week at the age of 50, prompting an outpouring of grief across the industry

Yesterday afternoon, news broke that Stella Tennant had died at the age of 50. The iconic British model had spent three decades on the frontlines of fashion, and was famed for her inimitable grace and trailblazing androgyny. 

The tragic news was announced in a statement by the model’s family. “It is with great sadness we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant on 22 December 2020,” they wrote. “Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed.” According to police, there are no suspicious circumstances around her death.

Born in Scotland in 1970, Tennant was a direct descendant of aristocrats Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, and Deborah Mitford. In 1993, she was scouted by photographer Steven Meisel, sparking a groundbreaking modelling career that spanned nearly 30 years. Her punk-infused beauty saw her become a muse to designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Nicholas Ghesquière and Alexander McQueen, and star in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Burberry. She also appeared in the pages of AnOther, shot by Hedi Slimane, as well as in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Tennant was loved and celebrated by much of the fashion world, and her passing prompted an outpouring of grief from industry leaders. On Instagram, Stella McCartney hailed the model’s “soul and inner beauty”, while photographer David Sims called her “astonishing... smart and kind and unforgettable”. Tributes also flooded in from Donatella Versace, Erin O'Connor, Naomi Campbell, Marc Jacobs and Edward Enninful, among others. You can see a selection below.