Wonderland.

WINNIE HARLOW

The supermodel gets candid about life advice and future career endeavours with singer Anitta.

Winnie Spring 2021 Red Dress and Background

Dress by MONSOORI and shoes by MURMUR.

Winnie Spring 2021 Red Dress and Background
Dress by MONSOORI and shoes by MURMUR.

Taken from the Spring 2021 Issue. Order your copy now.

From a young age, it was embedded into our minds that we had to look a certain way. Curly hair had to be slicked back with copious amounts of gel to be seen as presentable; our bodies had to be slender; our skin had to look like a porcelain doll’s with not a single impurity or trace of acne in order to be deemed beautiful. But thanks to a new generation of unapologetic women such as Winnie Harlow, we are beginning to see a change in the world’s narrow beauty ideals.

Harlow — whose real name is Chantelle Brown-Young — was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of four, and despite all the hurdles thrown her way by bullies and rejection from agencies, she never lost confidence and stood her ground every step of the way. Whether it was during challenges on Tyra Banks’ now infamous America’s Next Top Model or dealing with social media trolls, Harlow never wavered, kicking down doors that were originally closed to her and standing up for those who might not have the self-assurance to do so. In the seven years since her stint on Tyra’s show Harlow has become an iconic figure in the fashion world, working with everyone from Dior and Fendi to Victoria’s Secret and even featuring in Beyoncé’s enigmatic visual album, Lemonade.

As one of the new faces added to FIFA’s Volta Groundbreakers lineup, the supermodel has been transformed into a virtual character for the FIFA 21 world alongside players like Lewis Hamilton and Dua Lipa. Catching up with her friend, Brazilian artist Anitta, Harlow reflects on seeing her character come to life, getting to know herself this year, plans for the future and her biggest lessons so far.

Winnie Spring 2021 T-Shirt Dress
WINNIE Spring 2021 pink dress red background

(Left) Dress by LOUIS VUITTON, earrings by CARTIER, rings by CARTIER and watch by OMEGA (Right) Dress by
CHRISTIAN COWAN X MISS SOHEE, watch by OMEGA, earrings by ANABELA CHAN, ring by CARTIER and shoes by HAKAN AKKAYAYA.

Winnie Spring 2021 T-Shirt Dress
(Left) Dress by LOUIS VUITTON, earrings by CARTIER, rings by CARTIER and watch by OMEGA (Right) Dress by
WINNIE Spring 2021 pink dress red background
CHRISTIAN COWAN X MISS SOHEE, watch by OMEGA, earrings by ANABELA CHAN, ring by CARTIER and shoes by HAKAN AKKAYAYA.

A: Hi Amiga! How are you?

WH: Amiga! I’m good girlfriend. What’s up?

A: You look so beautiful.

WH: Thank you, you look gorgeous! Your makeup is beat to the gods.

A: I have some questions for you… Are you ready? We know that last year was the craziest thing ever. What’s one big thing that you learned from 2020?

WH: A big thing I learned in 2020 was how important it is to be comfortable by yourself. Of course we all had so much time alone and sometimes you forget that it’s good to be by yourself, get to know yourself, and learn about you. It’s really important.

A: I learned the same thing. We are always traveling, and then we were obligated to be by ourselves. It was good actually, right?

WH: It’s good, you get to learn a lot about yourself. I also took up painting during quarantine, which was really therapeutic.

A: What’s one thing that you’re looking forward to in 2021?

WH: One thing I’m looking forward to is finally staying in my new house — I bought a house!

A: I saw, congratulations!

WH: I’m excited, but I haven’t stayed there yet because I need it to be ready and decorated, all that stuff.

A: If you were not a model, what would you want to be?

WH: I would’ve gone to school for journalism. I would be interviewing people like you are interviewing me right now… Or if I was thinking about my childhood dream, I would probably be a ballerina.

A: That’s so cool. I think I would be a psychologist — the craziest one!

WH: I took a psychology class in school, learning about Freud and all that stuff. It was so much fun. That is one course that even now, as an adult, I still would take. So interesting!

A: What do you wish you were really really good at?

WH: I wish I was really good at being organised, because I am so unorganised…

A: Oh my God, I’m so unorganised too.

WH: That’s one thing I really need to get better at. That may be next year’s New Year’s resolution. Next year — not this year.

A: When did you find your confidence as a model?

WH: Oh gosh, I still get nervous on the runway; I don’t want to fall or trip. I’ve actually tripped on the runway during Paris Couture Fashion Week. My face was red and I wanted to cry, but I was just like ‘Suck it up, you’re grown, it’s OK. Everyone falls, it’s cool’. But it’s still nerve-wracking, it’s still very intimidating. How is it for you?

A: For me now, when I go on stage, I don’t even think about it. I thought it was the same for you!

WH: I wish! But I’m the type of person that doesn’t let things that scare me stop me. If you’re scared of something you need to face it head on.

Winnie Spring 2021 B&W

Dress by BALMAIN, ring by ANABELA CHAN, earrings by DJULA and shoes by DSQUARED2.

Winnie Spring 2021 B&W
Dress by BALMAIN, ring by ANABELA CHAN, earrings by DJULA and shoes by DSQUARED2.

A: What is one piece of advice that changed your life?

WH: One piece of advice that changed my life was something that my grandfather told my mum, and my mum told me. ‘Always do what you love in life, because then it will never feel like work’. Like you — you love to sing, you love to perform, and it doesn’t feel like a job because you have a genuine love of doing it. I like to perform as well, I like to be on the runways, even though it scares me sometimes. I like to take pictures and videos, so this never feels like a job because I enjoy it.

A: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

WH: The biggest lesson I’ve learned… There’s so many important lessons. I guess whenever something really intense in life happens, and it makes you realise that you only have one life. This isn’t a rehearsal. We only have one, so live it to the fullest extent.

A: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 15-year-old self?

WH: I would tell myself to stop buying so many skin products because that’s why you’re breaking out! I used to use so many products, all the acne products for like one pimple and then it would all multiply. All because I was doing too much, so I would tell myself to calm down…

A: That’s great. I’m always so deep with those answers, and then you’re just chill.

WH: I always say, ‘I would tell myself it will be OK, and you’re going to be fine, and don’t worry about the bullies’, but honestly there’s other things too! Acne was a big problem at that age!

A: So let me ask you — how is it seeing yourself as a virtual character for FIFA?

WH: It was interesting! My character plays football way better than I do in real life. I was seeing my virtual character do all these kicks and tricks, like ‘My virtual self needs to teach my real self to do these tricks…’

A: What songs would be on your FIFA soundtrack?

WH: “Loco”! Any playlist of Anitta, actually.

A: What else?

WH: I really like the song “Whoopty” by CJ right now. And another artist, his name is Pressa, has a song named “Attachments”. He’s Canadian — you know I’m Canadian, so you have to support your people, where you’re from.

Winnie Spring 2021 Purple Outfit

Dress by ANTONIO GRIMALDI, boots by NICOLAS JEBRAN and jewellery by LAUREL DEWITT.

Winnie Spring 2021 Purple Outfit
Dress by ANTONIO GRIMALDI, boots by NICOLAS JEBRAN and jewellery by LAUREL DEWITT.

A: I’m going to search for his song! I heard Kyle (Kuzma) is a really big gamer, do you guys play video games together?

WH: He sure is. My type of games are like Candy Crush or Mario Kart, or games on your phone. He’s not into those, he likes Call Of Duty and stuff like that. I’m sure he will be playing FIFA now as well.

A: I do too!

WH: I don’t know how to play! But I will bring him a glass of wine when he plays. He doesn’t play for very long so it’s fine. Some girlfriends get upset that their boyfriends play for too long…

A: You need to have him to teach you to play. Once you do, you’ll be addicted.

WH: I’ll tell him to teach me, and then we can all play together.

A: If you could have a super power, what would it be?

WH: If I could have a super power it would be being able to teleport, because taking flights literally drives me nuts.

A: Agreed, that would be my super power 100%. Let me go for one curiosity of mine — what is one destination you want to visit?

WH: Hawaii! I’ve never been to Hawaii. Or Bora Bora. Those are my bucket list places.

A: Bae-cation or a girls trip?

WH: Girls trip. I’m sorry Kyle! Recently I have been going on so many bae-cations. Kyle and I live together now, so we are always together. I haven’t been on many girls trips lately, and it’s different when you’re hanging with your girls.

A: I’m the opposite because I’m always having a girls trip, so I would choose bae-cation… If any actress would play you in a movie, who would it be?

WH: Me! I want to be the actress that plays me, actually. I want to get into acting. I’ve been reading some scripts and stuff, dabbling in it and seeing how I fair. And hopefully one day there will be a movie about me. That would be incredible.

A: That would be epic! I think we need that… What would you like to achieve in 2021?

WH: I would like to be in a film, I would like to start my own company, and I would like to get more covers. And I would like to spend more time with you!

A: We have so much fun together… What do you hope to be known or remebered for?

WH: I hope to be remembered for trailblazing a new era of confidence, of inclusiity, and of acceptance.

A: You are already. I can tell

Winnie Spring 2021 IVH Dress

Dress by IRIS VAN HERPEN, shoes by LE CLIQUE BY KAT MACONIE and earrings by CARTIER.

Winnie Spring 2021 IVH Dress
Dress by IRIS VAN HERPEN, shoes by LE CLIQUE BY KAT MACONIE and earrings by CARTIER.
Photography
Meg Young
Fashion
Toni-Blaze Ibekwe
US Fashion Editor
Gorge Villalpando
Hair
Cesar Deleon Ramirez at Crown Management
Makeup
Rebekah Aladdin
Photography Assistant
Matt Cluett
Styling Assistants
Bree Bañuelos and Anissa Silvas
Editorial Director
Huw Gwyther
WINNIE HARLOW
Array
(
    [type] => 8
    [message] => Undefined offset: 0
    [file] => /home/wonderland/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-query.php
    [line] => 3152
)