Winnie Harlow is one busy model who rejects the idea of being called a vitiligo victim. Just a few months after walking the ramp for Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the supermodel sat down with Jimmy Fallon for a quick chat where she discussed her incredible journey to fame and what inclusivity means to her. Dressed in a blue dress, a glowing Winnie lit the room with her vibrancy and magnetic personality.
Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the conversation.
1. Winnie is Chantelle
Winnie’s real name is Chantelle. She told Jimmy how she came up with the name: “I was with some friends at a girlfriend’s house, and they were on the phone to some boys and they were giving them attitude. So I grabbed the phone, and I was like, “who do you think you’re talking to? You’re not gonna give my friends attitude.” And, they were like, “Who’s this?” And, I was looked at my friend’s shirt and said, Winnie the Pooh. So, it just stuck.
“So everyone calls you Winnie?” asked the host. Winnie replied, “Yeah, my mom even calls me Winnie. She loves it. That means I love it. Mom is the boss.”
2. Winnie was discovered by Nick Knight
Winnie’s modeling journey started on social media. She would do favors for her friends by modeling stuff that they were trying to sell. And, in return, she would get lunch. She’d post those modeling shots on social media, and the world just look at it. She was pretty popular on Tumblr.
A photographer from London named Nick Knight e-mailed her personally. “I had no idea. So, I googled him, and I found out that he was actually legendary. He’s shot with everyone, every magazine, and I was like, “Of course.” I asked my mom and she gave me the permission to go, so I flew out,” Winnie shared more details.
3. Winnie is the face of MAC Viva Glam Campaign 25
Now, Winnie is the face and body of MAC Viva Glam Campaign 25. “Well, growing up in a Christian home, I didn’t really get to celebrate Halloween as most kids get to. When I got invited to Heidi Klum’s Halloween party, I decided I had to do something super iconic. I always wanted to do drag. And my team was like, “You have to do RuPaul.” So, we crafted an outfit up and I booked a photographer. We shot and posted those on Instagram the next day, and MAC contacted us to have me for their next Viva Glam campaign,” the supermodel told the whole story.
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SURPRISE!! 😍🤯 THANK YOU @MACCosmetics for not only allowing me to be the new face of Mac Viva Glam, but using my Rupaul halloween costume inspo creative for the campaign! I worked hard to pull this look and shoot together with my team, Inspired by one of the greatest charitable campaigns from 1994 (the year i was born), and I’m excited to announce MAC is using it for the newest Viva Glam campaign. If you know me you know makeup is a love of mine so I’m speechless! There is no makeup campaign more ICONIC than the @MACcosmetics #VIVAGLAM campaign and I’m honored to work with them as they celebrate their 25th anniversary of Viva Glam 💋💄😭❤️ #MACambassador
4. Jimmy Fallon follows Winnie on Instagram
The late-night show host appreciated Winnie’s efforts to represent vitiligo inclusivity on public platforms. He also revealed that he follows her on Instagram. He consequently pulled out one of Winnie’s IG posts and paid attention to Winnie’s long arms. “I’m 5’9″. But, I have the arms of someone who’s like 6’2″,” Winnie giggled.