Shalom Harlow was born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Her mother named her Shalom meaning “peace” or “Hello” in Hebrew. Her father held several jobs as a social worker, real estate agent and financial investor while her mother, Sandi Herbert, worked with mentally challenged adults. Her parents allowed her to experience growing up in a ‘hippie community just outside Toronto.
Early on, Harlow took up ballet which she later decided was not for her as she claimed in a 2008, New York Times article, “My rebellious nature always comes out.” She instead became interested in tap dancing as she enjoyed the noise it created.
Harlow was discovered at a The Cure concert in Toronto and started modeling straight out of high school. She’s appeared on numerous magazine covers, editorials, and top runway shows, and appeared in movies and co-hosted MTV’s House of Style with fellow supermodel Amber Valletta. She was the long-time favorite model for many designers who found that her look translated well between commercial and couture. She is the first ever winner of Vogue/VH1’s Model of the Year Award.