Model Samantha Harris is causing a bit of a stir internationally these days, after making it in her native Australia. The reason for the controversy? She’s one of the first aborigine models to win over the fashion industry.
At 19, Samantha has done amazingly ever since leaving school and going full-time – up until then her agency rationed her jobs so she could complete her studies.
She’s the second ever Aboriginal model to be a Vogue [Australia] covergirl, (Elaine George was the first in 1993). But Samantha is considered to have real international appeal. She has already appeared at London Fashion Week in February, and has also modelled in New York.
On the subject of her own success she has said "I spent my childhood wondering why you had to have blonde hair and blue eyes to do well in modelling competitions, so I'm proud that a girl with my looks might make it," she said.
She added: "My Aboriginal heritage is very important to me. I'd like to be a role model for other indigenous girls." She sounds like a sweetheart!
Along with body shape and weight, race is the biggest taboo in the modelling world and in Australia, the issue of its indigenous population is still a politically thorny one so its nice to see that it’s the fashion industry taking the initiative on this one.
Editor of Vogue Australia, Kirstie Clements, says their decision to have Samantha on the cover was not a political statement, but based on the "the simple fact that she is really beautiful."