Former America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) Cycle 21 contestant Winnie Harlow went on to become one of the biggest names in her industry. But according to the Canadian beauty, the series created by Tyra Banks had little to nothing to do with her success.
During a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live, a fan asked Harlow how she knew she had “made it,” and the Toronto native jokingly responded, “I made it?” She then went on to say ANTM doesn’t actually help most aspiring models reach their goals.
“I really started after the show, ’cause that really didn’t do anything for my career … which, it doesn’t do anything for any model’s career, realistically,” Harlow said. “A photographer from London hit me up—major photographer Nick Knight—and he was like, ‘Hey, I’ve seen your photos online, and I want to do a shoot with you.’ It went viral, and I got campaigns from there, and it hasn’t stopped since.”
She went on, “It was really a reality TV show. That’s not what I signed up for.”
“It’s almost like you made it in spite of the show,” host Andy Cohen added.
“Well, I wouldn’t like to say that,” Harlow responded. “It’s still a part of my history, and I’m really grateful for everything that I’ve done to get where I am. But, you know.”
Check out the exchange below.
Harlow explained her answer more thoroughly on Instagram, saying she doesn’t mean to throw “shade,” but wants to be honest with aspiring models who may have a false impression of what the show can do for their careers. Check it out below.
What's Your Reaction?
Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.