Born in Hamburg, Germany and raised in Sweden, Patitz was introduced to the realm of modeling when at 17, in 1983, she placed third in an Elite Model contest in Stockholm that awarded her a trip to Paris that changed her life forever.
Her appearances in the late 80’s Revlon makeup campaigns shot by Richard Avedon as one of ‘The Most Unforgettable Women in the World’ and in George Michael’s music video ‘Freedom ’90s‘ directed by David Fincher, catapulted her into pop culture but it was her continuous work for over 35 years with iconic brands and photographers that cemented her model legend status. Patitz worked with almost every legendary ‘old school’ fashion photographer, including Peter Lindbergh (one of the first photographers to shoot her in 1985), along with Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Arthur Elgort, Nick Knight, Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier and many others who were all captivated by her, establishing especially close relationships collaborating with Ritts and Lindbergh.
Part of ‘The Big Five’ alongside peers Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista, Patitz’s legacy remains as one of the first supermodels, appearing in over 200 magazine covers worldwide, including seven covers of American Vogue and thirteen covers of British Vogue, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Australian editions of Vogue.
A muse to many, Patitz continued to work in the nineties and aughts as a face of Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Helmut Lang, Donna Karan, as a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris, and on a plethora of runways, including her memorable walk accompanying Karl Lagerfeld during the Chanel Cruise 2010 finale. When she wasn’t traversing the world, Patitz’s love for nature was renowned as a vocal supporter of animal rights and an avid horseback rider. Tatjana died on January 11, 2023 at the age of 56 of breast cancer in Santa Barbara, California, and her passing reverberated not only throughout the fashion industry but around the world. She is survived by her son, Jonah. (Bio by Models.com story-January 12, 2023)