Winnie Harlow wasn't 'supposed to be a model'
Winnie Harlow insists she was "never supposed to be a model because of her skin".
Winnie Harlow was "never supposed to be a model".
The 28-year-old star has recalled working at La Senza and looking at the models wishing she could do what they were doing, and she went onto become the first person with Vitiligo to ever walk the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show runway.
She told ET Canada: "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.
“People will be like, she’s already a model because of her skin. 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.”
Vitiligo is a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin, which is caused by a lack of melanin.
Winnie hopes to continue breaking down barriers for other people with the condition who dream of becoming a model.
She said: "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.
“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."
Meanwhile, her biggest "pinch me" moment is whenever she finds herself around Naomi Campbell.
She added: "Any time I’m walking the same show as Naomi Campbell… it’s kind of a gag. 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.”