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Model With Vitiligo, Winnie Harlow Lands Diesel Campaign

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Winnie Harlow x Diesel (2)

Winnie Harlow x Diesel (1)

 

Winnie Harlow x Desigual (2)

There’s nothing like being bullied and then ending up with the last laugh.

Meet model Winnie Harlow, the 19-year-old, 5’10 Canadian model making huge waves in the modelling world despite her “non-traditional” look.

Winnie — real name Chantelle Brown-Young — has vitiligo, a skin condition she’s been living with since she was four years old. The condition causes areas of her skin to randomly lose its pigmentation, thus leaving her with white patches all over her face and body. It’s not a look we normally see in fashion print ads or on the runway, but Winnie is hoping to turn that all that around. And she’s well on her way because the former America’s Next Top Model contestant, who walked the runway during London Fashion Week a few months ago, just landed a major modelling gig with Diesel!

As part of their Spring/Summer 2015 campaign, which aims to promote “tolerance, equality and unconditional love,” the fashion brand booked Winnie for their campaign where she’s serving happiness and acceptance in the fun shoot.

It’s all a dream come true for the beauty who grew up being bullied, alienated and called everything from “zebra” to “cow” due to her unique appearance.

She explained in the 2011 documentary short, Vitiligo: A Skin Condition Not a Life Changer:

I got it when I was around three or four [years old]. When I got older, it got harder ’cause as kids get older, they get meaner. So I went through a lot of bullying with people calling me ‘zebra’ and ‘cow’ and stuff like that. So it was really hard for me growing up. I had to grow up quick. People make fun of you and you either learn how to deal or you break down and I’m not trying to break down so I have to deal, and be like, “Yeah, it’s just a skin condition. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m well. You can breathe the same air as me.

In a TED Talks last year, she shared a story about losing friends when she was younger because their parents ignorantly thought her condition was contagious, and realizing it was best to fit her own mold.

In school, I changed schools in about grade three or two and it’s already hard to make friends when you change schools, especially at such a young age. But luckily, I found two girls who were willing to play with me. They didn’t really know who I was but they wanted to play and check me out to see if I was one of the cool kids.

After a few weeks of being in that school and having those ‘friends,’ all of a sudden, I didn’t have them. I was kind of confused as to why– I was struggling to make friends and I finally did. Now where’d they go? They would avoid me at recess, they would avoid me at lunch. And I finally went up to them one day and was like, “Guys! What’s going on? Why aren’t you talking to me anymore?” They said to me, “We can’t talk to you anymore, sorry. Our parents said that we might catch your skin condition.” Can you imagine how that made me feel in grade two, grade three? That hurt. I was alienated. I was embarrassed, to be honest.

[…]

When I got a little bit older, I didn’t want to be bullied. So rather than taking myself out of that position, I became the bully. It’s not better on one side than the other. I can tell you because I’ve been on both sides. I didn’t want to be bullied anymore so I kind of took lead with those people who were bullying and said, “Cool! Those are gonna be my friends now because hey, I don’t want to be bullied. I don’t want to be on this side of the spectrum. So I guess the only side is to be on the side. This must be the good side.” So I decided to go on that side. I’d pick on kids and I’d be like, “So ugly! Your hair? Eww who did that?” Rude, right?

Then I came to a realization that I was trying to put myself into a mold that I didn’t fit. And I mean, who’s to say I’m suppose to fit in a mold anyway? I can make my own. So I decided that I was going take myself away from this side and away from this side and make my own side and fit myself a new mold. And that mold is so cliche, but I feel that there’s beauty in everything.

Winnie learned to love herself and now the stunner’s now in fashion ads, walking in runways and kicking it with the likes of Drake, while being appreciated for her unique beauty.  Her message to other young women across the world:

I loved myself. And with that, opportunities start to fall into my lap. And I thank God for all of them. Try loving yourself

In addition to Diesel, Desigual has re-upped their contract with the model and has made Winnie the face of their Spring/Summer 2015 “Say Something Nice” campaign.

Winie Harlow with Drake

Winnie photoed with Drake during Super Bowl weekend.

Winnie Harlow x Desigual (1)

Winnie Harlow x Desigual (4)

Winnie Harlow x Diesel (2)

Amazing!

Peep more of her flicks in the gallery.

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60 Comments

  1. Chelsea says:

    This is Awesome!

    (0)
    • lola says:

      Nice! Very inspirational young lady…in spite of her skin condition she’s still pushing for greatness. I hope she goes far..

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      • C.NNAJI says:

        This is beautiful. What an inspiration she is. This is also food for thought. Sometimes, as women we fret about acne, minor pimples, blemishes but here’s a courageous woman with vitiligo posing for the cameras with such confidence and beauty. Yet, we’re concerned about the minor things. To say I’m inspired by her is an understatement, I commend her in all her glory. Gorgeous.

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        • Tina says:

          My 12 year old daughter is struggling with vitiligo and I can’t wait to show her this! I’ve always told my girl she was beautiful but this is validation!

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        • hopeaa says:

          In the fourth picture down. The one with the roses, she looks like a painting!
          She’s an inspiration, very happy for her.

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        • gray says:

          she can tastefully model without anyone even knowing she has a skin condition bc her skin looks like art work and the fact that she is so pretty helps as well.i wish her nothing but a blssed career and life.

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      • goodiegoodie says:

        Clearly none of u watched ANTM, she might be beautiful but her personality is far from beautiful. Not everything that appears beautiful on the outside is as beautiful on the inside my fellow americans.

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        • SMH says:

          That’s how the show edited her and all of that came after she got back into the contest as a fan favorite and immediately won best picture. The other contestants got jealous and started making comments about her being mean and conceited. None of that was caught on tape, all that was shown was Chantelle (Winnie) defending herself and that was then misconstrued as aggressiveness. Even she defending herself against Yutsai calling her Panda (which was derogatory) was portrayed as aggressiveness. Open your eyes and realize that America’s Next Top Model thrives on drama for ratings and edits things to show some contestants in a negative light. This woman is an inspiration, a natural talent showcasing beautiful comes in all forms. I was in NYC in December and she had a huge campaign on 34th st and 7 ave. very beautiful! Go a Winnie (Chantelle)!!!

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        • whoa Ok! says:

          @Goodie
          Honestly, Thats what I said too…
          Besides why would Tyra edit this girl as a villain?
          Seriously, she needs to thanks The Gawds for being born during a time like this.
          She only had a couple of good pix, IMO. I still am pissed at her for being mad at being call a “Panda”. Dude could have called her a monkey instead…smdh!

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        • Quay says:

          That’s the same thing I said. I watched her on ANTM and she wasn’t very nice. And I do not think it was the editing. People love to act a fool on camera and then blame it on the “editing” but they can’t make you say/do things you didn’t so if they showed all of your meanness, then that’s because that’s what you gave them. Also, Chantelle had a bad attitude even BEFORE she left ANTM and came back the 2nd time with an even worse attitude.And she didn’t just have a bad attitude towards her castmates. She was also mean to people on the set and disrespectful to the hair and make-up artists there by changing the work they would do on her. However, I did understand that she was over-protective because of what she’s been through. But that’s no excuse to act mean towards people and lie on them. Like, she straight lied on Keith (the ACTUAL winner of ANTM and the first male to do so) and said they slept together, then went all deer-in-headlights when he confronted her about it. And she never even apologized for lying that way but instead got angry at the other girl for telling him what she said. I do hope she has become better since then.

          God bless Chantelle. I am very happy for her getting all of these modeling opportunities and I do hope she’s changed as well. Everyone can change, so kudos to her.

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    • vee says:

      This makes me smile inside & out. She’s so beautiful and confident. My mom has this skin condition and I wish that she could be as confident as this young lady.

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      • VW says:

        Idk what the hype n fuss is all about. She has a very nasty attitude. If u watched her on ANTM you’ll know what I mean…I can’t stand ppl who are not humble. Also ppl using the condition to get notice. But all y’all sheep Will fall for this type of sh!t anytime!

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        • That's so me says:

          I was gonna say the same thing!! This is great for her, but after watching her on ANTM, I know she has a horrible attitude and very cocky!! This is a great opportunity for her to shine light on her vitiligo though, so congrats to her.

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    • WhatYouSay! says:

      Yay!! Great for her! I’m sure she’s been through so much verbal torture. She deserves all of the success that comes her way!

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    • sassylady says:

      why the hell she change her name tho? What was the point of that we all know its you chantell.

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  2. shaye says:

    Gorgeous to me she’s flawless! And her personality is amazing! Seen her on LaToya’s vlogs on youtube.

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  3. Crystal says:

    I always thought she was beautiful, more so because of her inner beauty. People like her encourage me to be accepting, slow to judge and quick to understand!

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  4. naijababe says:

    She looks like a work of ART, GORG!

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  5. jetblackmood says:

    Shes gorgeous !!! Talk about loving the skin your IN.

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  6. MRB says:

    She is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Always love the skin your in!

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  7. The Judge says:

    What an inspiration!

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  8. Shelia says:

    She’s dating drakes producer 40

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  9. Olin says:

    They hated on her during the completion. But, quiet as it’s kept..she’s winning! She’s the only one booking these campaigns. I think she got caught up, but glad she is pushing through with confidence and dominating.

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  10. Honesty says:

    I appreciate her and still do BUT don’t like that she sexually lied on Keith on ANTM. Men do it to women all the time so for her to do that had me livid and disappointed.

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    • Ashley says:

      Beautiful girl but her personality isn’t so beautiful.

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      • Meme says:

        Yes. Her attitude on ANTM was very disappointing. I thought her inner beauty would match her outward beauty, especially considering what she’s been through. I am glad she is getting work in the modeling industry though.

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    • circ1984 says:

      I was thinking about that too… I thought, for someone who endured so much during her childhood/adolescence, that she would have a good balance of confidence and humility. I wasn’t fan of her personality, and skin condition aside, I’m not a fan of her ability as a model. I don’t think she evokes enough emotion and is just riding on her skin’s uniqueness.

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      • kae says:

        Exactly her attitude on the show sucked! I’m sure she must’ve face a lot of adversity concerning her skin but I was truly of how she conducted herself on the show. Irrespective of how I feel, I wish her the best in modeling…at least she’s using her ailment as a point of contact to encourage, inspire and motivate those that are suffering the same condition..

        (0)
    • That's so me says:

      Girl yes!! What she did to Keith was dead wrong bc we all know if that was flipped he’d be all kinds of names!

      (0)
  11. PolkaDots says:

    No offense but without her skin condition she would just be an average looking girl. (Just another face)

    (0)
    • But honestly tho.. says:

      You couldn’t just say something nice and move on, huh? Always has to be one negative Nancy to come on here with their “No offense” non-sense.

      (0)
      • Fair Trade Fair Shade says:

        Yo! @ ButHonestly polka dots NEVER has anything nice to say. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed. Idk WHY troll comments never go into moderation on this site.

        Anywayyy, she’s a pretty girl- with a genuine story. I’m proud of her- I’ve worked in fashion so I know she’s had it hard as a model of color. Especially since she has a skin condition, I can only imagine the mean-ass things casting agents have said to her. SMH
        And she Canadian!!!!- shout-outs to all my ppl up north!!!!

        (0)
    • TMB says:

      I disagree. I think she’s gorgeous, with or without the vitiligo. But her personality is horrible.

      (0)
    • Mary says:

      Lol I agree. Average looking girl but it’s all hype

      (0)
    • mookie says:

      A lot of models have “average” looks, whats your point?

      (0)
  12. Semajj Osborne says:

    Very good article! I still don’t like her but I think she’s very beautiful.

    (0)
  13. Os says:

    Gratz to her.

    (0)
  14. LuluBubu says:

    I didn’t click on this piece to read. I just came here to see who this beauty was and she is gorgeous!!

    (0)
  15. jheriray says:

    her personality makes her ugly absolutely disgusting

    (0)
  16. Newly_Natural says:

    Beautiful ! I want some of that courage she has

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  17. Lola010 says:

    The photo with the roses is beautfiul!

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  18. HUNTY CUNTY!!! says:

    I LOVE WINNIE! Her story is inspirational indeed! :) I watched one of her instagram videos about what kind of foundation she uses and she just didn’t having a winning personality about it. It came off kind of cocky. I instantly picked up that she is one of those pretty girls that doesn’t have the personality to match. I guess she is that way because she probably always feels like everyone treats her differently so she’s always on the defensive or “I’m better than you” tip.

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  19. Just me says:

    I think she is absolutely stunning her skin is art all by itself. Definitely created to be a model!!!!!!!!!

    (0)
  20. Michella says:

    I’m literally super proud of Chantelle. Been in awe of her since tgaw days. Shout to my girl Shannon.

    (0)
  21. cameron says:

    Yall finally hip!!

    (0)
  22. I thought it was something else other then vitiligo

    (0)
  23. There is beauty in everything!!!

    (0)
  24. Paris1989 says:

    I don’t know this girl from a can of paint but her skin draws in but I’m not blown away possibly because I’m destracted anywho

    (0)
  25. ccc says:

    beautiful beauty comes in different colors and sizes love it

    (0)
  26. Nikki Nicole says:

    She beautiful!!! Seem like the modeling world is finally coming around. A average size women (sz.12-14) considered plus size in the model world, was published in Sports Illustrated in swimwear!

    (0)
  27. roseinweeds says:

    she was difficult to like when she was America Next Top Model…she was defensive, on screen, quite often and apparently she had lied abt sleeping w one of the guys?? idk…all very strange…

    bt she has a beautiful model face despite her skin condition.

    best of luck to her!

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  28. roseinweeds says:

    also…when the hell did she change her name? i greatly hope her personality..as badly perceived on ANTM…has improved w alot more humility.

    (0)
  29. Congrats says:

    I know that the show was edited to make her the villian as they always need one in order for the show to have drama which results in ratings and I don’t think she lied about sleeping with Keith. The last few seasons of ANTM seem scripted anyone with an ounce of common sense could see that.

    (0)
  30. tisha says:

    This girl needs to humble herself lmao.

    (0)
  31. KK says:

    I saw her posters all across Spain this past fall. She was modeling for a really popular brand called Desigual. I thought that was pretty awesome! I loved how they saw her “flaw” as the unique trait of beauty that it is.

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  32. Bkbombshell says:

    I’m so happy for her.u go girl

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  33. You’re so interesting! I do not think I’ve read something like that before. So good to find somebody with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

    (0)

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