Top model Winnie Harlow shines on the cover of the November 2023 issue of Vogue Netherlands. Captured by Nikki Esser, her presence is striking. Xaviera Aubri’s styling expertise, paired with Kenya Alexis’ make-up artistry and Ashanti Lation’s hair styling skills, creates a stunning visual. Production by Leah Zonneveld.
Winnie Harlow’s journey, marked by her distinctive appearance due to vitiligo, has been a beacon of inspiration and a catalyst for change in the perception of beauty.
In her conversation with Vogue Netherlands, Harlow humbly rejects the label of being a spokesperson for vitiligo. “It is not because I have this skin condition that I am a symbol for it,” she says. Her rise to fame brought with it an unintended responsibility to represent those with vitiligo, a role she neither sought nor claimed. However, through her presence and openness, she has been instrumental in normalizing the condition in hopes that it will be recognized as part of the diverse spectrum of beauty.
Reflecting on her journey, Harlow notes the increasing visibility of models with vitiligo, a change that brings her immense joy. This change signifies broader acceptance and representation, something she longed for as a child. “It’s so nice to see that there is diversity,” she remarks, highlighting the progress made in the fashion industry.
Harlow‘s view of beauty has evolved over the years. She recalls her 2014 TedX talk, in which she advocated for a new definition of beauty, one that is subjective and personal. Her recent decision to cut her hair, despite being known for her varied hairstyles, is a testament to her evolving view of beauty. “I don’t need it,” she asserts, emphasizing that beauty is not static, but an ever-changing concept.
A self-described chameleon, Harlow’s journey is not only about challenging beauty norms, but also about embracing change and personal growth.