“There isn’t just one mould of what beautiful is. Beauty is in everything,” says 20-year-old model Winnie Harlow, the leader of a burgeoning fashion revolution boldly challenging the industry’s airbrush-perfect standards. The Toronto native, who developed skin condition vitiligo aged just four, is a paragon of social media’s capacity to inspire real change. In spite of rejection from every modelling agency in her hometown (“It meant they didn’t know where to place me… I get it”), Harlow gained massive success online, boasting legions of Instagram followers and supportive fans. It’s no surprise that the industry is now “opening its eyes” to her own vision of beauty. “Everyone has differences, and I feel like I stand for being different and accepting yourself,” she explains.
What was your defining pop culture moment of 2014?
Winnie Harlow: The Breaking of the Internet, LOL. I’m all for anyone doing whatever they feel is appropriate for themselves! To me, it was a HUGE stamp of approval to do you!
What’s your favourite song and movie of 2014?
Winnie Harlow: My favourite song would have to be Drake’s “How About Now”. His music is the soundtrack to my life. Favourite movie – I haven’t even watched it yet, but I have high expectations for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
How do you think style and pop culture will change in 2015?
Winnie Harlow: I think that over each year, small things change until we reach the end of a decade and realise all those small changes made for an amazing era! I also think we are in a time of reliving. Right now, it feels like everything has been done and everything is so accessible, so we revert to cool things of the past.
What’s the most exciting thing about the fashion industry today?
Winnie Harlow: The evolution of “what is acceptable”.
What new skill did you learn this year?
Winnie Harlow: In the cold weather, soldering. Someone very important to me enjoys it, so I sat through an hour of them happily teaching me how to solder... I don’t think I will need the talent in the near future, but at least I know how to make custom cables, I guess! In the summer it was jet-skiing! The best thing ever, especially when you’re pissed off and you just leave everyone behind and can be one with the sky and the water. PLUS, I have a real need for speed.
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find out if we looked at your phone?
Winnie Harlow: Maybe that I never delete anyone’s number. I still have all my ex-guys’ and ex-friends’ numbers... All my doctors, dry cleaners... Everything!
Who should have been at number one on the Dazed 100?
Winnie Harlow: Kim K’s booty by itself! That had a lot of people in a dazed or confused state.
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