Winnie Harlow

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1 min read

Winnie Harlow (born Chantelle Brown-Young) was born; July 27, 1994 and is a Canadian fashion model, and public spokesperson on the skin condition vitiligo. She gained prominence in 2014 as a contestant on the twenty-first cycle of the U.S. television series America’s Next Top Model.

She was born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Lisa Brown and Windsor Young.

She is of Jamaican ancestry and has two sisters. She was diagnosed with the chronic skin condition vitiligo, characterized by depigmentation of portions of the skin, at the age of four. Harlow was a victim of bullying by other children and was reportedly called a “cow, zebra, and all manner of other disparaging slurs” throughout her childhood by students both black and white. The verbal harassment led to her changing schools numerous times and dropping out of high school, after which she contemplated committing suicide. 

Harlow was discovered by America’s Next Top Model host Tyra Banks on Instagram, and subsequently became one of the fourteen finalists of the twenty-first cycle in 2014.

She was the only Canadian ever cast on ANTM. She was eliminated in the second week of the finals, and participated in a separate competition called the “comeback series”, where she continued to participate in the cycle’s photo shoots along with the other eliminated contestants in an effort to return to the competition.

After completing the comeback series, she was revealed to have received the highest average public vote score, and returned. She was eliminated again in episode 13, placing sixth overall.

Following her elimination from America’s Next Top Model, Harlow modeled for the Spanish clothing brand Desigual and became their official brand representative.

In September 2014, she walked and closed for the clothing brand Ashish for their spring/summer 2015 collection in London Fashion Week.

She has modeled for fashion magazines such as i-D and Dazed, and for the fashion website Showstudio.com. In 2015, Harlow modeled for the Italian clothing brand Diesel for its spring/summer 2015 campaign, which was shot by British fashion photographer Nick Knight.

She modeled for the Spanish and Italian editions of Glamour magazine and was featured in the August/September 2015 issue of Complex magazine. In 2016, Harlow was featured in a commercial for Sprite, and was featured in a campaign for Swarovski. In 2018, she modeled at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.