Her death came just days after her birthday, and though no cause has been revealed, the circumstances of her death are not considered suspicious, according to BBC News.
"It is with great sadness we announce the sudden death of Stella Stagnant on 22nd December 2020," the family said in a statement. "Stella was a wonderful woman and 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."
Versace called her the "muse" of Gianni Versace, the late designer who founded the brand.
"We will miss you forever, Stella," the house tweeted.
Versace is mourning the death of #StellaTennant. Stella was Gianni Versace’s muse for many years and friend of the family. We will miss you forever Stella. Rest In Peace.
Stella Tennant for Atelier Versace SS 1996, ph. Richard Avedon @Avedonpic.twitter.com/9tZqwMATzn
— VERSACE (@Versace) December 23, 2020
Born in Scotland in 1970, Stella was the granddaughter of Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire and Deborah Mitford, the youngest of the Mitford sisters. She studied sculpture at the Winchester School of Art.
Stella's life took a fateful turn in 1993, when she stent photos of herself to a fashion magazine modelling in 1993 and quickly achieved fame for posing in French, British and Italian Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. That led to an exclusive contract with Chanel.
Stella became famous for marrying punky style with haute couture, walking the runway in a septum ring – an unusual look in models at the time – and dyed black hair in her twenties. She continued to model throughout the '90s for brands such as Calvin Klein, Hermès and Burberry.
In 1999, she married David Lasnet, with whom she went on to have four children.
In addition to her modelling work, Stella was also a environmental advocate, who encouraged people to use less energy home. She also advocated the use of more environmentally-friendly fashion and encouraged people not to buy new clothes.
"At my age, I think it's probably quite normal you're not that interested in consuming, [and not] loving shopping as much as when you're younger," she said in 2019. "We all need to think a little bit harder."