So-called "KFC heiress" Kaila Methven has taken part in a daring photo shoot in a mission to create "something artistic and empowering".

The 26-year-old's South African grandfather, Stanley Methven, founded a company called Rainbow Chicken Unlimited, which once supplied 90 per cent of KFC's poultry.

The Methven family became the third richest family in South Africa, although they have no current ties to the fast food giant.

Despite Mr Methven having sold the company back in 1991, Ms Methven describes herself as a "KFC heiress" on her website.

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She has just posed nude for the latest edition of JMG Lifestyle magazine, which is touted as a "millennials' luxury and lifestyle" publication.

She wore nothing but diamonds worth US$10 million ($15m) and a Versace crown, worth US$3 million.

"For the shoot, I had to be naked in front of about 20 people, which was a little scary at first, but it really wasn't about nudity for me, this was about creating something artistic and empowering with a woman's body," she said.

"I'm proud to be a woman, and JMG Lifestyle magazine uplifts women. They are about representing strong, modern day women. I wanted to create a shoot that is strong and fearless and powerful.

"I hope to empower other women to be themselves and fight for their rights and help each other."

Methven also paid tribute to her late mother, Lisa Methven, who took her own life when her daughter was just 14 years old.

"I have so much respect for women and my own mother had to face many challenges and inequality," she said.

Methven took to Instagram to post a risque photo from the shoot along with the magazine's cover with the caption: "It's 2019, Freedom, Powerful, Sensual, Cover of JMG dripping in 10 million dollars worth of diamonds and Versace crown, I guess the life of a celebrity isn't so bad especially when you have the confidence like one."

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Kaila Methven posted an image of the cover saying:
Kaila Methven posted an image of the cover saying: "I'm proud to be a woman, and JMG Lifestyle magazine uplifts women". Photo / Instagram

Publisher Chinga Moalusi paid tribute to JMG Lifestyle magazine's latest cover star.

"Kaila is a great cover star. She is an educated business owner and a person that is well-cultured, well-travelled, and inclusive of others. Our decision was easy to feature her on our cover; we wanted to give her a platform for her goals and views."

The cover was shot at The Artists Project by photographer Michael Bezjian.

Methven's grandfather Stanley Methven died in a motor scooter accident in Monaco in 1986, five years before her birth in 1991.

After her mother's death, Methven, who was born in the US, moved to Paris to live with her estranged, Tunisian-born father who had left the family shortly after his daughter was born.

Methven moved back to Los Angeles in 2014, and is a fashion entrepreneur in her own right, having studied at the International Fashion Academy Paris before founding two high-end lingerie brands, Madame Methven and Latrodectus.

In a 2018 interview with Business Insider, the CEO said her brands were expected to rake in up to US$10m over five years.

She has won several fashion awards and has also become a socialite and media identity, having appeared in a number of magazines including Maxim.

Her designs have also been worn by scores of celebrities including singer Demi Lovato, the Kardashians and actor Katharine McPhee and they have been featured in a range of publications including Harper's Bazaar, Elle and Love.