Model Winnie Harlow On What It Takes To Catch Her Fashion Eye
(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for MTV)

Heidi Klum used her indisputable charm to coerce fellow supermodel, Winnie Harlow, into joining the judge’s panel of Amazon’s latest show, Making The Cut. Of course, there was no denying the supermodel’s request. “I can’t say no to Heidi,” the Canadian-born beauty tells ESSENCE exclusively. “I was very honored to be asked by Heidi to work alongside her and Jeremy [Scott].”

The goal of the show? To find a talented designer who is ready to take their business to the next level and become a global brand sensation. With that being said, Harlow — who has worked with some of the largest fashion houses in the world — had high expectations from the creators while filming. “I expected them to show us passion in their fashion,” Harlow admits. “When looks came down the runway, I expected to know exactly who made it because they really put themselves in their designs.”

The winner of the series will receive $1M to invest in their business, the opportunity to sell a collection in Amazon Fashion’s store, and mentorship with Amazon Fashion. To do so, the designer must win over Harlow’s approval. And according to the fashion icon, it takes a whole lot more than a pretty design to catch her eye. “The color and the fit are important to me,” she discloses. “The fit has to be right. Everything could be perfect, but if the fit is off, it throws off the entire piece.” 

While chatting with the supermodel, we discussed how the fashion industry is evolving and becoming more inclusive when it comes to race, height, weight, and other varieties of individuality. The established model appreciates the newfound abundance of diversity. “Right before I got into the fashion industry, there wasn’t really even a place for me and I kind of had to make my own place,” she explains. “I’m really honored to be a part of that change.”

She adds, “I think the fashion industry has made so many leaps and bounds. It’s really important to acknowledge progression because so many times we’re too busy looking for the next thing like, ‘What’s next?’ and ‘How are you going to do more?’ We’re forgetting to appreciate that we are moving forward.”

“In order to get from point A to point B, you’re going to be somewhere in the middle at one point,” she tells us before concluding. “I’m really appreciative of the progression and I’m very honored to be a part of that movement.” 

We’re excited to see what Harlow brings to season two of Making The Cut, which you can stream on Amazon Video starting July 16.

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