Last month, Winnie Harlow jetted from New York to Saudi Arabia to take part in a world exclusive – to star in the first Vogue fashion shoot in the Kingdom. However, little did team Vogue Arabia realize that the end result would end in tears.
The Canadian model joined new rising star Shahad Salman on the June cover, and the release of the images have clearly proved emotional. Taking to Instagram, the 24-year-old star, who got her big break on America’s Next Top Model, and has since walked the runways for top brands including Marc Jacobs and Victoria’s Secret, reposted the popular cover along with a gushing and inspiring caption about never giving up and having faith in yourself. She wrote: “My first Vogue cover… I’m crying right now. I remember being 16 and @shanboody telling me she could see my face on Vogue… VOGUE! I laughed it off now look.. look at this! 😭🙏🏽 After every rejection, every naysayer, every trial and tribulation. Every night traveling and living alone without my family and friends. All to be able to tell.. no SHOW the world that representation matters. That beauty is within the eye of the beholder and no ones “definition of beauty” should matter but your own. That we open doors and walk new paths to make way for everyone!!!”
Like, Harlow, Saudi model Salman suffers from vitiligo, a skin condition caused by the lack of melanin. In her debut cover story Salman opens up about how she looked up to Harlow as a role model. In fact, despite living thousands of miles apart, Harlow recalls the time they met over social media, “Almost a year ago, Shahad made a post on Instagram with our pictures next to each other. She wrote in the caption that it was ‘weird’ how similar we looked. I commented saying that it was not weird, but that she was so gorgeous.”
While they were acquainted over social media, the cover story shoot marked the first time the beautiful duo met, and instantly became friends. Harlow also posted a video (above) of their first encounter. The bond between the two is undeniable with the pair sharing their love and admiration.
Understanding the impact of the shoot on the lives of women who look to the media for positive representation, Shahad says, “Before, I didn’t feel good about myself and I didn’t like the way I looked. Winnie was the person who gave me the confidence to fight. I never expected to meet her. Sharing time on the set of Vogue with her was a dream. I feel that now I, too, can inspire other girls from Arab world.”
Editor-In-Chief Manuel Arnaut
Photographer Dan Beleiu
Fashion Director Katie Trotter
Models Winnie Harlow at First Access Ent and Shahad Salman
Editorial & Fashion coordinator Mohammad Hazem Rezq
Hair Stylist Nabil Harlow at Open Talent Paris using Leonor Greyl hair care
Make-up Artist Kate Mur using Dior Makeup
Photo assistant Giorgio Lattanzi
Local photo assistant Abdulaziz Salem
Shot on location at Sadus Village, Saudi Arabia