beauty

She's the most talked-about model at New York Fashion Week. For all the right reasons.

She’s never been represented on the runway before but Winnie Harlow is New York fashion weeks new ‘IT Girl’ and it’s for all the right reasons.

We’re not used to seeing much diversity on the catwalks of fashion week, so it’s quite extraordinary to see not only a black woman, but a woman with an obvious skin condition like Vitiligo, as the model of the moment.

At four years old Winnie Harlow, whose real name is Chantelle Brown-Young, was diagnosed with the same condition that affected Michael Jackson.

It’s called Vitiligo and is a skin disorder that causes patches of skin to lose melanin, turning the skins normal pigment white.

#observermagazine #ChantelleWinnie

A photo posted by ♔Chantelle Winnie♔ (@winnieharlow) on

In an industry with a fairly narrow scope on what qualifies as beautiful, the fact that 20-year-old model Winnie Harlow is being celebrated on the most prestigious catwalks around the world, is an incredibly refreshing and a welcome change.

“I feel like the industry is very much opening up, widening their eyes,” the model told BBC.

Read more: This model just made history on the New York Fashion Week catwalk.

For years the public and media have been crying out to see more diversity on the runways and Harlow says she believes she was selected because “that’s what people are looking for, you know, something they can relate to, a real person,” the BBC reported.

@somkong @wmcfashionweek

A photo posted by ♔Chantelle Winnie♔ (@winnieharlow) on

Harlow’s career was launched by US reality show America’s Next Top Model last May after the show’s creator, Tyra Banks, spotted the young model on social media.

 

Despite being labelled a role-model for diversity, Harlow is understandably uncomfortable with making a career based on her skin condition.

“I could more label myself as a spokeswoman for happiness,” she told the BBC.

 

She’s developed a reputation for exuding confidence and Harlow says it’s because she’s learnt to ignore the bullies.

“Focus on your opinion of yourself and not the opinion others have of you.”

Her next ambition? To appear on the cover of American Vogue.

Get more of Winnie Harlow here… 

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