Winnie Harlow has been making headlines for her show-stopping outfits at the Cannes Film Festival, but she’s also keen to use her status to raise awareness for good causes. While getting ready to walk at Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief, she spoke exclusively to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, highlighting the important charities that this year’s event supports.
“Naomi has done so much for relief efforts with these shows, and I’m so proud that we’re doing it once again to help Save the Children and the Time’s Up movement,” Winnie explained.
“It's an absolute privilege to be able to support my mentor and causes like [these]. The fashion world has a huge platform and a lot of voices, and it’s so important that we take the time to use them to raise awareness and help important causes.”
Speaking about Time’s Up, she highlighted the significance of men and women standing together. “There’s never been a more important time for people, especially men, to support this cause than now,” she explained, saying that we need to “elevate those voices that need to be heard.”
Winnie is well known for being vocal on her charitable efforts, and she sees her influence as an opportunity to bring attention to issues around the world. “It’s not just important, it’s essential,” she said. “No one should be forced into pushing or talking about anything if they’re not comfortable, but we were also given this platform for a reason. I feel a responsibility to use mine to raise awareness for whatever cause I’m supporting and to raise the voices of those who may not a platform like I do. It’s a responsibility, and if I can change the lives of as many people as I can, even just one person, then I know I’ve done my job."
Although she supports multiple different issues, spreading a message of diversity is particularly important to her: “There is no one specific way that a model should look. I’m living proof of that. Beauty is found in so many areas, the part of yourself that you think is your biggest flaw may also be the one that gives you the most power and respect.”