Winnie Harlow Explains Why She Almost Quit Modeling—and What Changed Her Mind

The 2019 SI Swimsuit star opened up on the matter in an interview with ‘Highsnobiety.’
Winnie Harlow

Winnie Harlow.

Winnie Harlow posed for the cover of the new issue of Highsnobiety magazine, and the resulting images are nothing less than stellar. In addition to posing for the photos captured by Jason Omar Al-Taan, the 28-year-old model also opened up about everything from her career to her relationship in an accompanying cover story.

The one-time SI Swimsuit model spoke about her time on America’s Next Top Model nearly a decade ago and admitted that after finishing sixth place on the reality show, she nearly bid the industry goodbye.

“After coming off the show, I was actually going to quit modeling,” she told the outlet. “I was going to go back to school for journalism.”

Shortly thereafter, however, Harlow stepped in front of photographer Nick Knight’s lens for a Diesel campaign, which changed it all.

“That was when I was like, ‘You know what? Who am I to not walk through this door that God is opening for me?’” she shared. “He gave me my first campaign, which was for Diesel. That was the beginning of it.”

Harlow has gone on to work with additional notable brands and designers like Maybelline, LaQuan Smith, Puma and others. She’s also the creator of Cay Skin, a skincare brand focused primarily on suncare.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.