Winnie Harlow: Canadian Fashion Model and Public Spokesperson
Winnie Harlow has made waves in the fashion world ever since she competed on America’s Next Top Model’s 21st cycle in 2014. As part of her campaign for Desigual, an international fashion brand.
Winnie was raised in Toronto with vitiligo, a chronic skin condition that results in depigmentation of portions of her skin. As a child, she endured bullying due to her appearance and was frequently called names like “zebra” or “cow”.
Winnie Harlow’s Biography
Winnie Harlow has had one of the most remarkable journeys to supermodeldom. Born and raised in Canada, she was diagnosed with vitiligo (a condition where patches of skin pigmentation appear on the face and body) at four. Though bullied relentlessly throughout school life and at times contemplating suicide herself, Winnie has persevered as both an icon and advocate for those living with vitiligo.
Winnie first gained prominence when she made an appearance on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21. While on the show, she demonstrated that vitiligo would not prevent her from modeling successfully and was one of the leading contenders until being sent home due to overconfidence at an optical illusion photo shoot by Tyra.
Winnie has since appeared on magazine covers and commercials, and was most recently selected as the face of global fashion brand Desigual due to her “confident and optimistic attitude which shows how being different can be beautiful” (Desigual Blog).
Winnie has made the effort not to allow her vitiligo condition to define who she is; rather, it is something that makes her special and distinctive, and Winnie won’t let it hold her back from reaching her goals.
This lesson was created for World Vitiligo Day on 25 June; however, it can be used at any time throughout the year to introduce students to Winnie Harlow and her accomplishments. Students begin by discussing their reactions to an image of Winnie, then read about her and discussed her achievements with partners before finishing by encouraging students to write their biography about someone different from themselves.
Winnie Harlow’s Modeling Career
Winnie Harlow is an acclaimed model, spokesperson, and activist who rose to prominence during America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21’s contestant selection round due to her visible form of Vitiligo. Since then she has graced fashion magazine covers like Vogue, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Dazed; also campaigned with brands like Diesel and Desigual; as well as participated in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show shows.
Harlow is also the founder of the skincare brand Cay Skin and serves on the board of the National Organization for Vitiligo (NOV). Through her work, Harlow shares an amazing story of strength and perseverance – which inspires many with vitiligo to embrace themselves as individuals. She’s a trailblazer who inspires many others to accept themselves for who they are.
Recently, beauty star Vanessa Hudgens made headlines as haircare brand John Paul Mitchell Systems’ inaugural global ambassador with its glamorous campaign featuring her as its face. Vanessa donned a silver two-piece lingerie set and matching silk robe, complete with long, hanging silver earrings to complete her look, and rocked beach waves in her golden brown locs for photographs in this bold new campaign.
Winnie posed in her sensuous pieces in front of an elegant blue beach setting alongside fellow models Barbie Blank and Jhene Aiko. Additionally, Winnie wore an eye-catching purple tie-dye piece from PrettyLittleThing that she styled with thigh-high black heels from PrettyLittleThing.
Winnie Harlow’s Acting Career
Winnie Harlow, taking her name from Winnie the Pooh and 1930s Hollywood screen star Jean Harlow, first gained recognition when competing on America’s Next Top Model reality show in 2014. Though she didn’t win that competition, Winnie has gone on to establish an impressive fashion career and has been recognized for challenging beauty standards.
Canadian model Samantha McNally has become an outspoken advocate for those living with the skin condition vitiligo, which results in depigmentation of portions of their bodies. She stars in campaigns for brands like Diesel and Desigual; has graced covers for magazines like i-D and Dazed; she even made an appearance at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway shows!
Harlow Young was born in Toronto to Windsor Young and Lisa Brown-Young and was later diagnosed with Vitiligo at four. This chronic skin depigmenting condition caused her to be bullied throughout her childhood with names such as “cow,” “zebra” and other derogatory remarks thrown her way.
She did not succumb to bullying; rather she turned to modeling as a means of self-expression and accepted her difference. Harlow worked with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger during her early modeling career; later appearing on covers of magazines like Vogue Italia and Cosmopolitan. Harlow has had romantic entanglements with race car driver Lewis Hamilton, rapper Wiz Khalifa and Los Angeles Lakers player Kyle Kuzma – now living together. Harlow made her acting debut in Michael Bay’s Beyond The Storm film that will hit theaters on February 1, 2020 – in addition to acting she has her clothing line of clothing and accessories designed by Harlow herself!
Winnie Harlow is a Musician
Winnie Harlow has seen immense success and wealth throughout her career, owning an exquisite home in Toronto and boasting an impressive car collection. As an internationally recognized public figure, she inspires millions with her words and actions; moreover, she serves as an advocate against skin conditions like Vitiligo; she acts as an inspiration to those suffering from it.
She has become the face of several brands and magazines alike. Additionally, she is well known as an actress on television shows; moreover, she enjoys an enormous fan following as well as social media platforms.
Harlow first gained fame through her appearance on Tyra Banks’ 21st Cycle of America’s Next Top Model and subsequent appearances in movies and music videos since. Additionally, she recently gave a TEDx talk discussing life with Vitiligo.
Winnie is known for her unique and attractive appearance, which has propelled her to fame. Often wearing transparent dresses that draw the eye, Winnie was even invited to wave the chequered flag at the Canadian Grand Prix! Additionally, she serves as an advocate for Desigual brand apparel promoting bright colors in society.
In 2019, Winnie partnered with Kim Kardashian on the KKW X Winnie collection – including a 12-pan eyeshadow palette, highlighter duo, and three lip glosses – and it proved immensely successful, providing Winnie with a career boost. Winnie is also developing clothing lines under high fashion labels such as Forever Luxe.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition in which the body gradually loses its normal pigment (color). This results in white patches on any part of the body. More noticeable in people with darker skin tones, it may affect hair and eye color too as well as cause patches of baldness in some people. Vitiligo is considered an autoimmune disease meaning your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues instead. While its exact cause remains unknown, stress, sun exposure, and certain diseases could all play a part in its development.
Harlow, originally from Toronto, made her debut on America’s Next Top Model in 2014 and since has appeared on multiple runways as well as Beyonce’s Lemonade visual album. Harlow uses her platform to remind people that their medical conditions don’t define them and recently publicly addressed a British newspaper for labeling her “a Canadian Vitiligo Sufferer.”
Winnie Harlow sufferers may require treatment to restore an even complexion, which usually involves exposing their affected area to light therapy – typically narrow-band ultraviolet B (UVB) therapy which is less damaging than other options like PUVA which utilizes UVA rays and requires the use of topical cream containing psoralen.
An alternative option would be taking medication that stimulates melanocyte production – cells responsible for giving skin its normal pigment. There have also been experimental treatments involving injecting melanocytes into areas of concern; though still experimental, such injections show promise and could provide comforting solutions to those unhappy with their appearance.