Stella McCartney leads tributes to ‘inspiring’ model Stella Tennant

Tom Horton and Emma O'Neill, PA
·3-min read

Stella McCartney has led tributes to Stella Tennant, who has died aged 50.

The aristocratic model died five days after her 50th birthday on December 17.

McCartney said she will miss her “terribly”.

“What sad, horrific news to end this already shocking year!” the fashion designer wrote on Instagram.

“My heart goes out to your stunning family who must be in such underserving pain.

“I am speechless… Rest in peace, you inspiring woman.

“Your soul and inner beauty exceeded the external perfection, Stella.”

Watch: British Supermodel Stella Tennant dies at 50

The granddaughter of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish, and Deborah Mitford, Tennant rose to fame in the 1990s, walking the runway for designers including Versace and Alexander McQueen.

She was among models representing the British fashion industry during the closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics.

She married French-born photographer David Lasnet in the small parish church of Oxnam in the Scottish Borders in 1999. They had four children together.

Wedding/Stella Tennant
Tennant married photographer David Lasnet in 1999 (David Cheskin/PA)

In a statement, her family said: “It is with great sadness we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant on 22nd December 2020.

“Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed.

“Her family ask for their privacy to be respected. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers were called to an address in Duns, Scottish Borders, around 11.30am on Tuesday 22 December following the sudden death of a 50-year-old woman.

“Her next of kin have been made aware.

“There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

In 1993, aged 23, Tennant broke into modelling, posing for magazines such as French, British and Italian Vogue as well as Harper’s Bazaar.

In the late 90s, Karl Lagerfeld announced Tennant as the new face of Chanel, with an exclusive modelling contract, and became a muse for the fashion designer, which he attributed to her resemblance to Coco Chanel.

Victoria Beckham also paid tribute to Tennant.

She wrote on Instagram: “So saddened to hear the devastating news about Stella Tennant.

“She was an incredible talent and someone I had so much admiration and respect for.”

Fashion house Versace paid tribute to Tennant on Twitter, saying: “Versace is mourning the death of Stella Tennant.

“Stella was Gianni Versace’s muse for many years and friend of the family. We will miss you forever Stella. Rest In Peace.”

Tennant also appeared in numerous advertising campaigns, including for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Hermes and Burberry.

In June 2012, she was inducted as Model of the Year in the Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame.

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