From redefining beauty standards to dominating the runways, Canadian supermodel Winnie Harlow is making her country proud.
While sitting down with ET Canada’s Keshia Chanté for an in-depth interview, the activist and Cay Skin founder opened up about just how her journey to supermodel status began.
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“I worked at La Senza, which is funny because I would look at the models. It was like, Oh, I wish I could do that,” Harlow shares. “I ended up walking for Victoria’s Secret, which was insane.”
In November 2018, Harlow made her mark on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway and became the first person with Vitiligo to ever set foot on that international stage.
“It’s funny to me now that I’ve actually created a lane for myself in this industry that there was never a lane set,” she shares. “People will be like, she’s already a model because of her skin.”
Harlow continues: “I’m like, Well, it was actually the opposite. I was never supposed to be a model because of my skin. I’ve actually fought against that but I’m like oh…you must think my skin is beautiful now, which nobody thought before. So, you know, it’s a double-edged sword, but there’s beauty in it.”
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From showing love to those who came before her, to helping support the next wave of talent, Harlow hopes that she can continue to break down those barriers for others with Vitiligo hoping to make it as a model.
“I think the biggest challenge today would be still breaking down those doors that, God bless, I was able to push down those doors to walk through,” Harlow says. “But keeping those doors open for others to walk through… making sure that it isn’t just tokenism.”
“Making sure that it isn’t just there’s one face or there’s one person who can. Everyone is able to,” she adds.
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As Harlow continues to take the fashion world by storm, she’s also become a go-to for music videos, appearing on Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album and other videos for Sam Smith, Sia and Eminem.
However, the 28-year-old says her biggest “pinch me” moment has something to do with one of the world’s most iconic supermodels.
“Any time I’m walking the same show as Naomi Campbell… it’s kind of a gag,” Harlow admits.
“Whoever knew I would be, you know, walking behind the footsteps of someone who knocked down so many doors for me to be able to do what I’m doing… It’s insane.”
Tune in to “One-On-One With Winnie Harlow” Monday, Feb. 20 at 7:30pm ET/7pm MT on Global, and stream live and on demand on STACKTV and the Global TV App.