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They didn't know how to deal with black hair, says Winnie Harlow of early days

Published:Tuesday | November 30, 2021 | 12:05 AM
Winnie Harlow took to the streets of Jamaica as she teamed up with Puma to promote their Cali Dream shoe. Harlow, who was born in Canada and is of Jamaican descent, paid tribute to her island roots. ‘Being an individual within my community and staying tr
Winnie Harlow took to the streets of Jamaica as she teamed up with Puma to promote their Cali Dream shoe. Harlow, who was born in Canada and is of Jamaican descent, paid tribute to her island roots. ‘Being an individual within my community and staying true to myself is what has always moved me. This is where my roots come from, this is where I walk now with my Cali Dream,’ Harlow said of the collab.

Winnie Harlow wanted “white girl hair” at the start of her career.

The 27-year-old model is of Jamaican ancestry and has recalled wanting to have “white” hair during her younger years.

Winnie, who was diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo as a child, shared, “I wish I had known that there wasn't a lot of people behind the scenes who know how to deal with black hair. I wish I knew how to deal with that before going into the fashion industry.

“I remember feeling I don't wanna be white but I wish I had white girl hair because I wanna look just as good as the white girls do and I should be able to because, no matter what race, you're beautiful.

“Why is it that all the white girls hair looks bomb? And all the black girls don't look as good? It's because there's no education with black hair and different textures. I wish I had known that.”

Winnie feels the fashion industry has changed markedly over the last decade.

However, she still thinks there's some “room for growth”.

Speaking to the 'Behind Closed Doors' podcast, the model shared: “I came into the industry at a time where there was no one that looked like me or similar to what I look like.

“It's definitely changed a lot - I've seen people who have more unique looks or not the cookie-cutter look. There's beauty in so many different ranges of people.

“There's definitely room for growth. I feel like there are times that's still performative and it's not like an ongoing thing. A lot of brands are really good at being inclusive and, every few years, designers change.”