Winnie Harlow who you may know from being a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, She is a Canadian model who is well known for having a skin condition called vitiligo. This has never stopped her as she has created a great name for herself in the industry.
Born in 1994 as Chantelle Brown-Young and at age 4 she was diagnosed with vitiligo which cause depigmentation to her skin. Throughout her childhood she moved from many schools due to bullying which eventually led to her contemplating suicide. In 2013 she was asked to be part of a music video for a song called “Natural Me” which then opened the door to her modelling career as she started to get noticed.
Work in the industry
Chantelle was discovered on Instagram by Tyra Banks the host of Americas next Top Model in 2014. She made it all the way to the second week of the finals coming 6th overall in that year’s competition. Following her elimination from the show she went on to model for a Spanish company Desigual and is now their official brand ambassador alongside Adrianna Lima. 2015 was another great year for her as she walked in the spring/summer London fashion week and then went on to work with Diesel as well on their spring/summer campaigns. Magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Italian Vogue and the Spanish equivalent of Glamour have all featured Winnie showing she has created her name for herself all over the world doing some great campaigns. As a young model in the industry she is definitely on her way up. Taking part in advertising campaigns for Sprite and Swarovski and being chosen as one of BBC’s 100 Women shows her career is only just starting.
“I’m Proud of my Skin"
The Guardian spoke to Chantelle to find out more about her breaking into the industry and they believe she is successfully challenging the face of fashion with her look. In the interview she stated that "If one day I'm all black I'm still a model. If one day I'm all white I'm still a model." Showing that she doesn’t let her skin define her look. She doesn’t just want to be a spokesperson for vitiligo she wants to be signed by an agency and become a model just like everyone else in the ever changing industry. The comments that get made towards her, that she bleaches her skin and controls how her skin changes are all false and are what makes her stronger and more determined. In the interview she makes a joke and laughs that she can step away from all the hate and look at her bank account and know that she has done well.
In 2011 a video was posted on Youtube titled “Vitiligo, A skin condition not a life changer” filmed by Chantelle about her skin condition and how she hasn’t let it control her life. She has also spoke at a TED presentation to give inspiration to others who suffer from the skin condition. April Star an aspiring young model has been supported by Chantelle to overcome the mean words and taunts she has experienced from her peers.