Rest in Peace Stella Tennant: Look back at the model’s illustrious career
Stella Tennant, a British supermodel, died at the age of fifty on Dec. 22. She passed away just five days after her birthday. The devastating news was confirmed by her family, who wrote the following statement: “Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed.” They said Tennant’s death was “sudden”.
Tennant lived in the Scottish border town of Duns, where police were called about her passing. “Her next of kin have been made aware. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal,” said a Police Scotland spokesman in a statement.
The details about her cause of death haven’t been made public yet and an announcement for a memorial service will come at a later date.
What was Stella Tennant known for?
Stella Tennant was the granddaughter of the eleventh Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish, and Deborah Mitford, former Duchess of Devonshire. Her grandparents were important figures, meaning Tennant was known partly for her background as an aristocratic model.
Tennant also became popular because of her androgynous features, pixie haircut, and height. Stella Tennant model was nearly six feet tall. Throughout her modeling career, she became a prominent presence in the industry. She modeled for many publications and worked with designers & fashion houses including Calvin Klein, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Stella Tennant also used her career to advocate for the environment. She was part of campaigns which promoted energy reduction to minimize the environmental impact of fast fashion.
Stella Tennant’s early life
Stella Tennant was an artist, and art became a passion of hers when she was young. She attended the famous British boarding school Marlborough College and then went to Winchester College of Art. There, she got a degree in sculpture.
Her modeling career started at the age of twenty-three after she got noticed by fashion journalist Plum Sykes, who worked with Stella Tennant to get her in the 1993 issue of British Vogue. After that gig, she was noticed by photographer Steven Meisel, who invited her to model for Vogue Italia in Paris.
When she first started modeling, she questioned if it was the right career for her. In 2016, she told The Evening Standard she “didn’t know if I wanted to be objectified.”
Stella Tennant’s modeling career
Tennant remained in the modeling industry for a long time. In the 1990s, she modeled for designers such as Winchester College of Art. She also made the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Lagerfeld even announced her as the new face of Chanel. In 1998, she retired from modeling temporarily. She quit after she got pregnant with her first child with her boyfriend, photographer David Lanset, who she later married that same year.
After she had her third child in 2002, Stella Tennant made her way back to modeling through a campaign for Burberry. One of her most notable moments was 2012, when she represented the British fashion industry at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. She was also inducted into the Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame that same year.
Her most recent magazine cover was in 2018, when she modeled for the cover of British Vogue. She also walked the runway at the Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer show in 2020 for Paris Fashion Week.
Fashion industry’s response to Stella Tennant’s passing
Various leaders in the fashion industry responded to Stella Tennant’s passing, including Versace.
“Versace is mourning the death of #StellaTennant. Stella was Gianni Versace’s muse for many years and friend of the family. We will miss you forever Stella. Rest In Peace,” the official Versace Twitter account tweeted.
There are many others mourning her passing on social media, including journalists, photographers, and designers who worked with her. They wrote about her kind personality, her legacy as a model, and how she will be greatly missed.