Since making her debut on season 21 of America's Next Top Model, Winnie Harlow has exceeded even that lofty title. The Torontonian, who speaks often about being bullied when she was younger, was first diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo when she was four years old. Now, of course, she's sought after in part because of her distinctive skin markings—as well as her obvious gorgeousness. Beloved by the international fashion and arts communities for her unshrinking self-assurance and sincere smile, Harlow has appeared on the cover of Vogue, in music videos (including Beyoncé's Lemonade) and in many campaigns (Nike, MAC, Swarovski, to name a few).
Her most recent project is a footwear collection with Steve Madden that reflects her signature off-duty model style.
What excited you about collaborating with Steve Madden?
I love to brainstorm with different creative minds: we come up with so many fun ideas.
So I was excited when Steve Madden approached me for this collaboration. They allowed me to have a lot of freedom in this special collection. I can’t wait for the world to see it.
What is the key to a great look?
I love accessories so much: they can completely change an outfit! My favorite looks are the ones I’ve customized.
What's the best style or life advice you have ever received or would give?
The best advice I have ever received and that I also always embrace is to follow your instinct and be yourself. Don’t compare yourself or your look to others. Be inspired by and curious about everything around you and just wear what makes you the most confident!
Where would we find you on a Saturday night?
Saturday nights are usually girls' night! Unless I am working at a shoot or on a plane.
What inspired your career path?
I originally wanted to be a journalist, but a couple of friends asked me to model for their personal brands. This inspired me to think of modeling as a career. My friends and family really boosted my confidence. I started taking it more seriously after that.
What motivates you?
I have a great support system from friends and family. They push me to be my best. When I get nervous about an event or a campaign, I call my mother. She always pushes me to be my best and tells me that I can manage this. I try to do the same to my friends as well—always encourage them to reach further and be the best of themselves.