Tatjana Patitz (born 25 March 1966) is a German model and actress who rose to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s.
Patitz was born in Hamburg, Germany and raised in Skanör, Sweden. She began working as a model in Paris in the mid 1980s at the age of 17. Though rarely participating in runway shows, during this period she regularly worked with the likes of Herb Ritts, Sheila Metzner and Peter Lindbergh. In 1985, she graced the cover of British Vogue for the first time and would become one of the most notable models of the late 20th century. She was still very much in demand throughout the 2000s, periodically returning to runway for select designers.
Patitz appeared on over 130 magazine covers in the course of her career. She was on the cover of British Vogue more than 11 times; American Vogue 7 times; French, Italian, German, Spanish Vogues more than 8 times. She was a darling of such designers as Azzedine Alaia, Helmut Lang, Jill Sander, Dolce & Gabanna, Versace, Valentino, Donna Karan, Todd Oldham, Comme Des Garcons, Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel; and beloved by such iconic photographers as Herb Ritts and Peter Lindbergh.
In 1987, she appeared in the Duran Duran music video for the song “Skin Trade”. She then moved to California to begin a career as an actress. Her first appearance was a brief one as a murder victim in Rising Sun (1993). Following this, Patitz made several appearances on television series, music videos, and films. Her largest role was in the 1999 thriller Restraining Order.
She was also featured in George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90” video, along with Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell. These five women ushered in 1990s glamour on the cover of a now-famous British Vogue for January 1990. George Michael then cast them in his music video for “Freedom! ’90” which addresses themes of ownership, fame, and image. This video is now considered one of the top music videos of all time.
She also inspired a photographic project by leading American conceptual artist Charles Ray, titled ‘The Most Beautiful Women in the World’ for Parkett Magazine.
She has appeared in international television commercials for L’Oréal, Revlon, Corsa, Dupont Carpets, and Ralph Lauren.
Since autumn 2009, Tatjana Patitz is the new icon of the Italian fashion brand Marina Rinaldi, focused on fashion dress design for size 16-plus women.
Along with Michael J. Fox, she appears in the 2011 Carl Zeiss AG calendar, photographed by Bryan Adams in New York City in the summer of 2010.
In 1989, Patitz went to live on a ranch in Malibu, where in 2009 she was reported to have four horses, four dogs and two cats, commenting “I needed nature around me”. She has a son, Jonah, who was born in 2004, and is separated from his father, a marketing executive. She previously had a long-term relationship with singer Seal. Patitz’s younger sister, Sophie, has also worked as a fashion model for Victoria’s Secret and L’Oréal.
Patitz is vegetarian.