Winnie Harlow says it wasn’t easy having Vitiligo growing up.

Speaking with ET Canada, she recalled how her family was very worried about her following the diagnosis.

“I just remember, like, my grandmother was telling me that my mom would be really worried and showing her the new spots that were coming in, like on my back” she shared. “She would always say to her, ‘You can’t show me anything because it makes her feel different.'”

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It’s always been an uphill climb for Harlow, especially in the fashion industry, where there hadn’t been anyone like her before. There was no blueprint to follow.

“No one knew where to place me because they never worked with someone who looked like me before,” the model explained. “This is an industry of obviously how you look, right? There’s never been someone to walk this road before, so do I actually go for it? Can I be successful in it?”

After walking runways for brands like Victoria’s Secret and even launching her own skincare brand, Cayskin, it’s safe to say the 28-year-old has found her success.

In the face of all she’s achieved, the model admitted she laughed when people attributed her success to her unique condition.

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“Now that I’ve actually created a lane for myself in this industry where there was never a lane set forth for me, people will be like ‘she’s only a model because of her skin’. It was actually the opposite. I was never supposed to be a model because of my skin. It’s a double-edged sword, but there’s beauty in it,” she added.