Winnie Harlow: My Fashion In Friends

Meet the women behind the force that is model Winnie Harlow.

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Gilles Bensimon

‘What makes you different makes you beautiful.’ The old maxim rings true with model Winnie Harlow. The Toronto native is one of the most recognisable faces on the catwalk, with 3 million Instagram followers. But what matters most to LouisvuittonShop is that she’s boldly changing the conversation around beauty, helping to broaden the industry’s once narrow standards — see her TED talk (with more than a million views) on her skin condition vitiligo for proof.

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Gilles Bensimon

Winnie wears Gucci with make-up by Andrew Gallimore, hair by Lok Lau and styling by Anne-Marie Curtis

‘There is a big shift happening in the fashion industry in terms of beauty standards, and I feel I’m part of that shift,’ she says. ‘I remember on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks asked me if a photographer told me to cover my skin for a shoot, would I do it? I said no. I don’t care who it is, or who thinks I should. I’m going to stay true to myself.’

Of course, no woman is an island, and a glance at Winnie’s Instagram reveals a network of friends that could be mistaken for the Business of Style 500 list. Here, she thanks the people who have helped her become the force she is…

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Nicki Minaj...

...is who I can rely on to keep it 100 per cent real. She once called to say that if I ever had a problem, I shouldn’t hesitate to call and talk it through, as so much drama in our industries could be prevented with communication.

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Bella Hadid...

... is an inspiration. She continues to master her craft– it’s amazing to witness as her friend. When we walked the Tommy Hilfiger show, we were hanging out all day and then flew to Paris together, which was a lot of fun.

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Shannon Hamilton...

... is my best friend. She’s the strongest, kindest, most loving friend in the world! She’s who I call when I’m happy, mad, sad, or any other emotion there is. Plus, we’re both Jamaican and love to wine up to dancehall.

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Nick Knight...

... is my fashion godfather. I wouldn’t have my career without him. When I was 19, he asked me to shoot with him in London. It was a magical experience. It’s the reason I’m still modelling today.

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Halima Aden...

... A whole new world of fashion is opening with her. I’m so proud of her. The other day, she asked me what to do if someone told her not to wear her hijab. I said you have to do what’s right for you, not because the industry makes you feel like you have to. If you don’t want to, then don’t.

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Luka Sabbat...

... Style inspiration is easy to get when hanging with him, from the way he dresses to how he transforms from a New Yorker to a Parisian with the flick of an accent.

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