Kiwi 'discovered' while in footy shorts goes straight to New York Fashion Week

Makeda Soper-Wirangi was discovered by model agent Phoenix Michael Darley. Photo / Getty
Makeda Soper-Wirangi was discovered by model agent Phoenix Michael Darley. Photo / Getty

A Kiwi woman has been plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight at New York Fashion Week.

Makeda Soper-Wirangi, now a Melbourne resident, was wearing footy shorts and shopping for perfume when she was discovered by model agent Phoenix Michael Darley.

The 20-year-old told ABC News she had never even worn stilettos and was a self-confessed tomboy - but now aspires to become a Victoria's Secret model.

Miss Soper-Wirangi, who now goes by her model name Keda, has already achieved what many models spend years working towards.

The 20-year-old said she had never even worn stilettos and was a self-confessed tomboy. Photo / Supplied via Instagram
The 20-year-old said she had never even worn stilettos and was a self-confessed tomboy. Photo / Supplied via Instagram

A mere two weeks after she was scouted in a Melbourne shopping centre, Keda graced the catwalk at New York Fashion Week in four different shows.

The trip saw the former Burger King employee and retail assistant get caught up in the whirlwind that is fashion week, attending daily castings and working until the early hours of the morning.

Mr Darley told Daily Mail Australia he was first drawn to Keda because of her unique look.

"I had seen her walking through the shopping centre quite a few times," he said.

"One day I was in Priceline at the same time as her doing Christmas shopping and her cheekbones stood out from the back.

Makeda Soper-Wirangi walks during the Gypsy Sport runway show in New York. Photo / Getty
Makeda Soper-Wirangi walks during the Gypsy Sport runway show in New York. Photo / Getty

"She turned around and she was amazing, incredibly raw, and I thought to myself I could mould her to be quite an amazing model."

In the lead up to fashion week Keda underwent a model makeover.

Her once waist-length hair was cut to above her shoulders and she spent hours practicing how to walk in heels.

In New York she attended nine castings a day, sometimes not getting home until after 2.30am.

"To come in as raw as she was and get that many castings is incredible," Mr Darley said.

Keda landed four catwalk shows, walking for V Files, A Détacher, Gypsy Sport and Libertine.

Miss Soper-Wirangi, who now goes by her model name Keda, has already achieved what many models spend years working towards. Photo / Supplied via Facebook
Miss Soper-Wirangi, who now goes by her model name Keda, has already achieved what many models spend years working towards. Photo / Supplied via Facebook

Her unique look attracted attention from the European fashion pack, and Mr Darley said he hoped Keda would walk in Paris and Milan.

Next up, she will travel back to New Zealand.

But the ever-humble Keda told ABC News she just hoped to make enough money to support her family, who moved from New Zealand to Australia in 2013 in search of a better life.

"My dream is to tell my mum you can quit, I can support you for the rest of your living life now," Keda said.

-Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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