Stella Tennant, an aristocratic model and one of Britain’s most sought-after muses died suddenly at the age of 50, her family confirmed on Wednesday.

Tennant died on December 22, just five days after her birthday.

The supermodel, granddaughter of a duke, rose to fame in the 1990s while walking the runway for Versace, Alexander McQueen and other designers. Her unconventional look helped her break into the world of fashion, and opened opportunities for her to grace the covers of fashion magazines.

“It is with great sadness we announce the sudden death of Stella Tennant on Dec. 22,” her family said.

“Stella was a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed,” the statement reads.

Her family did not disclose the cause of her death.

Scotland police said officers were called to an address in the Scottish Borders town of Duns on Tuesday following the sudden death of a 50-year-old woman. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

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.”

Donatella Versace posted a photo of Tennant on Instagram in a tribute to the model.

“Stella, I cannot believe you are gone,” she wrote. “You have left us way too soon. We met when you were at the beginning of your career. I cherish every moment we spent together. Ciao. Rest In Peace.”

Away from the catwalk, Tennant was an advocate of the environment. She led campaigns to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

The model retired from the limelight in 1998, returning on a part-time basis to shoot clothing campaigns and appear on the runway.

She is survived by her husband, David Lasnet, and their four children.


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