Model with leukoderma for Diesel Advertisement

Model with leukoderma for Diesel

Never mind her skin condition, fashion model Winnie is all sunshine. You can’t miss her

By Deepa Menon  February 5th, 2015

If you follow America’s Next Top Model, you probably remember this self-assured 19-year-old from last year’s auditions. Winnie Harlow (born Chantelle Brown-Young) talked about living with a skin condition called vitiligo and being bullied so badly in school that she dropped out. But this is no quitter.

Leukoderma, as we know it in India, is neither infectious nor debilitating, but because it marks a person out in such an obvious way it attracts a lot of rude attention. So while most leggy, doe-eyed models know that when people stare, it’s in admiration, Harlow still assumes they’re staring at her skin. But there is a joy and lightness to her that’s hard to miss, whether it’s in this new Diesel ad, her campaign for Desigual or her hugely popular Instagram account. Her condition maybe the first thing you notice about her, but this goofy, gorgeous young person will leave you with an impression that’s more than skin-deep.

Online, she shares a picture from her childhood before the marks had spread: “The beautiful part about this picture to me was that I didn’t know I was different.” She is different but in all the best ways.