Meet Winnie Harlow, the Model Who’s Changing the Game

The fashion world can’t stop talking about Winnie Harlow. The gorgeous 20-year-old model is changing the face of Fashion Week, and it’s time for you to pay attention.

Harlow, born Chantelle Brown-Young, was diagnosed at four years old with a condition called Vitiligo, which causes light patches to form on her naturally darker skin, the same condition Michael Jackson had. Clearly, her unique appearance hasn’t stopped her from rising up the ranks in the modeling industry, with some major celebrities also taking notice.

Namely, Drake. The rapper posted a photo of the two of them backstage at a fashion show, and received a flood of positive comments on the pic.


A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Feb 14, 2015 at 11:19am PST

Now, get familiar with the inspiring stunner. Here are five things you need to know about Winnie Harlow:

1. The Canadian star was discovered at the age of 16 by a Toronto photographer, who encouraged her to model.

Harlow reminisced on the days around getting discovered. “I was at the age still that I was worried about other people’s thoughts but I was trying to get out of thinking that way, to think about myself and that I should love myself,” Harlow told Today in 2014. “I was just growing into myself.”

2. She overcame bullying as a child.

Chill the fuck out 😂🙏🙈 still love yall tho

A photo posted by ♔Chantelle Winnie♔ (@winnieharlow) on Feb 14, 2015 at 2:07am PST

Harlow, who was fully supported by her single mother and would often fly from Toronto to the States to visit her dad, had a tough time dealing with other kids. She admits to being called “zebra,” “milky,” and “cow,” among other derogatory terms. However, she’s since seen past her detractors and become a beacon of inspiration. “The only person that can make you feel that you aren’t beautiful is you,” she told Today. “You can’t let someone else lower your self-esteem because that’s what it is — self-esteem, you need to first love yourself before you have anybody else love you.”

Learn more about the #newrules at this year’s New York Fashion Week from The Gossip Table.

3. She was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model.

Although she was the second contestant voted off 21st cycle of the reality show, she still remains close with host Tyra Banks.

4. Last November, she gave a thought-provoking Ted Talk about the definition of beauty.

Here is just an excerpt of her speech: “The reason I feel there is beauty in everything is because when I was young, I was picked on for something that today I feel is amazing. One thing about me connects millions of people around the world, which I think you can probably see is my skin condition.” She later admitted that after suffering through years of being bullied, she began to bully others, which she now regrets. “I want to put this idea in your head that it takes one person to realize there is beauty in everything, and you don’t have to be on one side of the spectrum or the other side of the spectrum, or fit into someone’s mold…be your own person, know for yourself what beauty is,” she explained.

5. She’s the face of Desigual.

America’s Next Top Model was simply a platform for Harlow to be seen, and she certainly intrigued a few designers. She was immediately flown to Spain to meet with the team behind Desigual. Now, she’s the face of their fall campaign and recently walked the NYFW runway for the brand. Additionally, she walked the catwalk for Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief charity fashion show.

For more on Winnie Harlow, follow her on Instagram, where she regularly posts photos of herself as well motivational messages.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Tara Aquino is an entertainment writer based out of L.A. She likes people, places, and things.