Although many have argued that the fashion industry has set unrealistic and attainable goals on what is presumed to be the set model look, Chantelle Brown-Young, also known as Winnie Harlow, has overstepped fashion norms and has achieved what few have, setting herself apart from others in the industry because of her unique differences.
Winnie Harlow, a rising top model and aspiring writer has a condition known as Vitiligo (most famous for being the disease that turned Michael Jackson’s skin white). Vitiligo is a condition which causes depigmentation of the skin in patches. It is caused by the death of melanocytes –the cells that give skin their pigment. This can occur in people of all races, particularly noticeable on people with darker skin.
Winnie was diagnosed at the age of four, and as a child was bullied by peers who called her names such as, ‘zebra’ and ‘cow’. She states, “I could take off all the brown skin and just be white. But I cannot take off all the white skin and just be brown.” Although eliminated from America’s Next Top Model, Winnie was offered the chance to travel to Barcelona to be the face of Spanish brand, Desigual’s [dez-e-gual] fall campaign. Desigual represents the unusual, the unique, and atypical. Naturally Winnie was the perfect fit.
The Torontonian is fulfilling her dreams of becoming a model, but she is proving that everyone is beautiful no matter their flaws. She states, “I loved myself. And with that, opportunities start to fall into my lap. And I thank God for them. Try loving yourself.” I had the lovely opportunity to interview Chantelle. My goal was to not focus on her appearances, her overcoming adversity, and other facts you may find on a google search. Below you will find my interview in Question and Answer format along with model exclusive items created by designers like Raf Simons and Sibling exclusively for SHOWstudio. Enjoy ;)
[Dreamd]: First thing you do when you get up in the morning.
[CW]: Look for my phone :) it’s always tangled in the sheets and never on the charger. Then brush my teeth and rinse my face with water (no soap in the morning). After that I’ll probably have some eggs, Greek yogurt with berries and tea for breakfast.
Every woman should own a…
[CW]: 5inch heel that goes with any outfit (preferably nude), and a pair of cute comfy sneakers, as well as a signature lip color!
Velvet or fur?
[CW]: Is the fur faux? If it is then Velvet, if not, then fur! (Yea yeah, I know.. lol)
Who is your #MCM (man crush monday)?
[CW]: Whoever I’m dating at the time ;)
Your go-to denim of choice?
[CW]: “Canadian Tux” in any wash
You’re in Toronto, where are you eating dinner tonight?
[CW]: At home lol! I like to order in from Via Allegro Ristorante
Five things in your purse right now?
[CW]: A protein bar, a wide tooth comb, lip gloss, my credit card, gum
If you could model for any designer, who would it be?
[CW]: Karl Lagerfeld for sure <3 or Riccardo Tisci :)
If you could be on the cover of any magazine tomorrow, which one?
What is your New Years resolution?
[CW]: I don’t have any. I don’t believe in “New Years resolutions.” If you’re serious about doing something, start today!