It's a story you often hear about some of the top overseas supermodels - they were "discovered" as a teenager by a fashion industry insider while going about their normal life.
That's exactly what happened with Maioro Iti, who lives with her parents on Auckland's North Shore, when she was talent scouted while working at a local restaurant by leading fashion stylist Ana Macdonald a few months ago.
The 17-year-old granddaughter of legendary activist Tame Iti was born and raised in Auckland and after leaving Selwyn College last year was working as a server at The Postman's Leg in Glenfield.
But she's now a full-time model after Macdonald introduced Iti to director of 62 Management, Andrea Plowright, who added her to the company's books a month ago.
Maioro features on Spy's list of Rising Stars this week to celebrate wāhine and tāne for Matariki.
She's set to light up the modelling world both locally and internationally.
"I felt incredibly excited being approached by Ana and when I signed with 62 Management I felt amazing and so excited about the future," Iti tells the Herald on Sunday.
Iti already has some exciting projects happening locally that will draw big attention and Plowright expects to launch her career internationally in the next six to 12 months, with Sydney first and then Europe.
"Maioro is an amazing new star with a bright future in all aspects of the modelling world," Plowright says.
"Like other gorgeous Māori wāhine on our books, Maioro has that extra something special that will stand out to international agents. She has an appeal for both editorial, runway and has the attitude to lead as a content creator also."
After they met, Plowright commissioned a bold colourful shoot styled by Macdonald and shot by renowned photographer Carolyn Haslett, who also did Iti's hair and make-up.
"Maioro oozes natural beauty and also has the glamour factor that the fashion industry in the Northern Hemisphere is once again celebrating and returning to. We wanted a bold colourful shoot and the response from my clients has been one of great excitement."
Iti's life has been rich, with her whakapapa throughout the North Island. On her mother's side, she has links to Ngāti Tūwharetoa (the central plateau) and she spent a lot of her childhood at her koro's marae in Pukawa, on the southern shores of Lake Taupo.
Her father's side is Tūhoe, with the family's marae in Ruatāhuna, west of Gisborne. Iti visited her famous grandfather Tame Iti throughout her childhood in Ruatoki, in the eastern Bay of Plenty.