The husband of Stella Tennant spoke candidly about their marriage years before her death saying the secret to their 20 year marriage was: ‘We want to make it work’.
David Lasnet also credited the model with ‘lifting him out of depression’ early in their marriage but said she did not know the depths of the support she had given him.
He made the coments in a candid interview about their marriage nine years before her death. Tennant split from her husband of two decades, earlier this year.
The aristocratic supermodel – famed for her androgynous punk style – was found dead at their home on the Scottish borders this week.
Paris-born photographer Mr Lasnet described his wife as ‘super-supportive’ and credited her with improving his mental health after he suffered depression in his 20s.
The pair met when Mario Testino hired him as an assistant after he was talent spotted by the iconic fashion designer while drinking coffee outside a Paris cafe.
David lasnet and aristocratic supermodel Stella Tennant married in 1999 in Oxnam, a town on the Scottish borders. The pair split in August
Stella Tennant died this week just weeks after her 50th birthday. Pictured: In a shoot with daughters Jasmine and Cecily
He was hired as a set assistant after declining the designer’s offer to model for him, instead asking for a job behind the camera.
‘And that’s how I met Stella,’ he recalled in an interview with the New York Times Magazine in 2011.
Tennant was invited to set for a photoshoot with Testino in New York and the pair hit it off.
It was love at first sight, she recalled. They couple shared lunch after the shoot.
‘David was sitting opposite me. I was so nervous that the rice kept falling off my fork. I had to give up eating,’ she recalled.
But it took a while for them to get together as a couple due to the language barriers between French-born Lasnet and aristocratic Brit Tennant.
‘The first six months were very dampened by our capacity to communicate with each other,’ he said previously. ‘Stella taught me English’.
Tennant and her husband David Lasnet at their 1999 wedding in the small parish church of Oxnam, Scottish Borders
Tennant appeared with her daughters Cecily and Jasmine, then aged nine and seven, for a H&M campaign in 2010
Lasnet recalled that his mental health also contributed to the realtionship getting off to a rocky start.
The photographer, who is now trilingual, said: ‘I went through a period of depression from the age of 18 to 20-something.
‘Stella really lifted me out of it without knowing. She came from a completely different background and was super-supportive of me always. From then on, everything got better.’
Lasnet asked Stella to have children with him within two months of their relationship starting. She replied ‘not just yet’.
It marked the start of a relationship that would span more than 20 years and give them four children, Marcel, Cecily, Jasmine, and Iris, now aged between 15 and 22.
The pair married in 1999 at the local church in Oxnam, Scotland – Stella’s hometown.
Their relationship appeared idyllic, and they built a happy home in their countryside estate on the Scottish borders.
They moved to the 18th-century house from New York in the US where Lasnet had forged a successful career as a photographer while Stella excelled as a model.
The model was known for her androgynous looks during her 1990s heyday and became a muse for Karl Lagerfeld. The fashion designer attributed to her resemblance to Coco Chanel.
In August, it emerged that Stella had quietly separated from her husband some 21 years after they had married in the local church. Pictured: Model Stella Tennant walks the ramp showcasing Rocco Barocco swimwear collection in Milan in 1998
The couple’s move across the Atlantic inspired Lasnet to retrain and he studied to be an osteopath – a profession choice he recalls was sparked by his son Marcel developing whooping cough as a toddler.
When asked for the secret to the longevity of their marriage, Lasnet said: ‘Well, I think we want to make it work, you know?
‘There’s nothing better than growing old together. And it’s very easy to destroy something.’
‘When we moved here, Stella’s mom watched me cutting down trees and said: ‘Yeah, it takes 10 minutes to chop down a tree and 10 years to see it grow.’
In August, it emerged that Stella had quietly separated from her husband some 21 years.
Neighbours were shocked at the news of the split saying that, since the separation, David had seemingly moved to Edinburgh, where the couple had a mews house, and continued working as an osteopath while Stella had taken up riding.
In one of her final interviews, Stella professed herself delighted to be growing old gracefully, joking that (at David’s request) she had even stopped dyeing her greying hair.
‘I’m not really pursuing my modelling in the same way. If it wants to pursue me, that’s a different thing, but me as I am. I’m not going to dye my hair… I don’t want to pretend to be something that I’m not,’ she said.
‘I’m incredibly glad to be where I am. I’ve got my children, my husband, work I enjoy… I mean, what else is there really?’
David Lasnet said Stella Tennant (pictured on their wedding day) taught him how to speak English
Stella Tennant is survived by her husband and four children Marcel, Cecily, Jasmine, and Iris, aged between 15 and 22
News of her death was confirmed only months after their split and just five days after her 50th birthday.
Her family said in a statement: ‘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.’
Her death is considered sudden, but police say there are no suspicious circumstances.
Mrs Tennant was the granddaughter of Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire and Deborah Mitford. Pictured: On the cover of Vogue
Mrs Tennant was the granddaughter of Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire and Deborah Mitford, one of the well-known aristocratic siblings, who died in 2014.
Stella’s mother was Lady Emma Cavendish, daughter of Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, whose seat is the famous Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
Her first shoot made the cover of British Vogue in December 1993, which Mrs Tennant later said came about ‘by accident’, and at the end of that day’s work she was asked to do a Versace campaign in Paris, which ended up as the cover of the Italian edition.
Mrs Tennant also appeared in numerous advertising campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein, Chanel, Hermes, and Burberry before retiring in 1998 as she was pregnant with her first child.
She later returned to the runway and worked on several campaigns behind the camera.