Model Chantelle "Winnie Harlow" Brown-Young is breaking boundaries in the high fashion industry.
The 20-year-old, who appeared as a contestant on America's Next Top Model after being personally scouted by Tyra Banks, has landed major Spring-Summer 2015 campaigns for Diesel and Desigual (she will serve as a brand ambassador for the latter's "say something nice" collection). The model's unique look is a result of a chronic skin condition: Winnie was diagnosed with vitiligo (which causes a loss of skin pigment) when she was just 4 years old.
However, this Canadian beauty didn't let a skin anomaly hinder her dreams of becoming a model—and industry heavyweights are taking notice.
"We believe in showing different types of body and beauty—celebrating uncommon beauties, this is what Diesel is and always has been about. With this new campaign for SS15, we want to convey a message of inclusiveness and positivity—and all of our models are smiling which is unfortunately rare in this industry," Diesel artistic director Nicola Formichetti told E! News.
(This isn't the first time Diesel has broken the mold for the better in a fashion campaign: Formichetti tapped fashion blogger Jillian Mercado—who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair—to model his Spring 2014 collection.)
When Winnie was 17, she participated in a Ted x Teen talk in which she explained that she "finds beauty in everything" and that beauty should be an individualized notion, rather than one that is universally agreed-upon. (Preach.)
Desigual, meanwhile, released a statement about Winnie's new role as brand ambassador: "Chantelle perfectly embodies the spirit, values and attitude that have always characterized the company. She's a model who breaks the established conventions and canons...She is pure inspiration, a whirlwind of positive energy, an example of strength and achievement, who demonstrates that we are all special and can achieve what we set out to do."
Cheers to that! We have a feeling that Winnie will be in many more campaigns (not to mention catwalks) to come.
—Additional reporting by Ruth O'Neill