Hannah taking step toward runway's riches
New Zealand's next top model could be a Hamilton teenager who first set foot on a runway in Morrinsville.
Beauty pageant veteran and aspiring model Hannah Moulden, 17, has been selected for a leading international model search in London this April.
Top Model Worldwide received 4000 entries for this year, and Hannah is among just 50 contestants selected by a panel of London judges.
It's fair to say 2014 started well for the reigning Miss Teen NZ, who won Miss Whangamata over summer and picked up modelling work for clothing retailer The Body Collection.
She was still at the beach when she got the call about London.
"It's all happening, which is pretty exciting," she said. "I was really shocked, I was excited though, because it was something I'd always wanted to do and London's one of the top fashion capitals."
Her 180cm height appears to have helped bring her the "huge opportunity".
"Especially representing New Zealand. It's pretty amazing. Hopefully it will open up some doors and start my modelling career."
She plans to leave late March and spend around three weeks in London preparing for the competition, which gives the up-and-coming models access to runway training, photoshoot opportunities, career advice, and media training.
Girls she met at Miss Teen World in Texas last year - Miss UK and Miss Scotland - are also going to meet her in London to show her around.
The competition will finish with a high-profile, choreographed runway show on April 5, Hannah said, where the models wear clothes from top designers in front of talent scouts.
Hannah needs to raise around $5500 for the trip. She and her mother have approached the Lions and Rotary for help and Hannah also has plans for events like a sausage sizzle at Hillcrest High, where she is in her final year.
Clearly her success hasn't stopped her being a typical Kiwi teenager, whose friends are ready and willing to lend a hand. Their reaction to her selection was "a lot of screaming".
And while Hannah hopes to pursue a career in modelling after she finishes school, she isn't letting her marks slip in the meantime.
When she gets home after Top Model Worldwide she expects to spend much of her school holidays catching up with missed schoolwork.
To follow Hannah's progress or contact her about sponsorship, visit the Facebook page.
To vote for her in the Miss Charity section of Top Model Worldwide (costs £1), visit topmodelworldwide.com/#/hannah-m/4581847766