Winnie Harlow Becomes The First Model With Vitiligo To Be Cast By Victoria's Secret

"Representation is so important."

Model Chantelle Brown-Young, who goes by the name Winnie Harlow, has walked the runways at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), appeared in ad campaigns, and promoted a message of self-love and body positivity through social media.

But this year, the 24-year-old made history by becoming the first model with vitiligo to be cast by Victoria's Secret. She'll walk the runway with the other Victoria's Secret Angels in November.

Vitiligo is a condition that causes the loss of skin color in blotches that can appear on any area of the body, including the hair. Harlow has previously made it clear that she is not a vitiligo sufferer, but that she is "a vitiligo model" who is "succeeding."

And succeeding she has been. She appeared on America's Next Top Model, gained an Instagram following of millions and had many different modeling opportunities. 

The Toronto native shared an emotional Instagram post after finding out she was cast in the show. In the post, Harlow recalls her nerves during the casting.

"I had a break down before I walked into the most nerve wr[acking] casting of my life," she recalled. "I asked my driver to go around the block twice before I could walk into the @VictoriasSecret offices so I could re coup [sic]."

The model continued that when it came time for her audition she "walked for her life." She then thanked everyone for their support in her journey. "Thank you for giving me all the energy and kindness in that room ... Thank you mommy for praying with me every day for the past three days. And thank you so much to my fans who have been pushing me forward to this point in my career."

In the video, she breaks down and sobs when she finds out that she has been picked. The moment was especially special as she had tried out for the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show but didn't make the final cut.

In an exclusive interview with Vogue confirming her casting in the latest show, the model discussed diversity and the importance of representation. "Why is there a stigma around being different when we're all different?" she asked.

“Representation is so important, and I want to [stand for] all women," she wrote. "Every single woman.”

(H/T: PopSugar)

A Plus has reached out to Harlow for comment.

Cover Image via Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock


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