Model Winnie Harlow was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of four.
Model Winnie Harlow was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of four.

Winnie Harlow says she hopes to inspire other women and men to “carve their space in the modelling industry”.

The 24-year-old model – who was diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo at the age of four – hopes her success will encourage other people to follow their dreams.

Harlow – who will appear in the upcoming Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue – said: “I really hope that people who deal with all types of skin conditions, especially vitiligo, of course, can see that there’s absolutely no shame in showing off as much of our bodies and sexuality as we would like to, just like any other person can.

“And I hope that inspires more women, and men, to carve their space in the modelling industry and be proud of our bodies. I know in my heart that I will not the last model with vitiligo to be featured [in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue].

“We need to make sure that all bodies are celebrated and shown in a positive way – no matter what shape, condition, or colour it may be.”

Harlow cited Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks as two of her biggest inspirations.

She also suggested Kate Upton is the “most iconic SI model” in history.

Harlow told People: “Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks have been huge influences and even mentors of mine, especially as models of colour.

“They helped paved the way for our beauty to be celebrated. And of course, how can I forget the gorgeous Kate Upton, perhaps the most iconic SI model.”