Anna Yang grew up in China with dreams of becoming a professional catwalk model - but standing at just 1.58m tall, she was told she just didn't make the cut.
But 28-year-old is stoked that her "Chinese dream is coming true" when she gets to share the stage with some of China's top models at the James Law World Model Competition Fashion Show as their emcee.
Four of China's champion models have flown in for the event to be held at the Settlers Country Manor in Kumeu on Saturday.
"It is most girls' dream in China to become a model, because they think it is a ticket to the good life and global opportunities," said Yang, who moved to New Zealand 10 years ago when she was 18.
"I wanted to be a model because I liked the glamour and the thought of being the focus of attention of everyone's eyes when you walk down the catwalk in beautiful outfits."
Yang, who runs Futureway Connections, a cross-cultural event management and branding company, was euphoric when she was asked to the master of ceremonies for the show.
"It's like a once in a lifetime opportunity to be sharing the stage with these beautiful women," Yang said.
"For a moment at least, I can experience ... or maybe just imagine, what it's like to be a supermodel."
The models include 2014 World Model Competition champion Crystal Zhang, 2016 champion Amy Jiang, current bikini champion Rainbow Lu and this year's runner up Fanny Su.
Samantha Zhang, World Model Organisation founder, described the modelling industry in China as a "dog-eat-dog world".
"Aspiring models have to be prepared to do anything and everything if they want to stand out in a country of 1.4 billion people," Zhang said.
"To be a top model in China is hard work, and the competition is really tough."
The average height for women in China is 1.56m, but Zhang said she will not accept anyone under the height of 1.7m to model in her agency or competitions.
Once foreign models were favoured over locals in China by domestic companies looking to give themselves an air of internationalism.
But with the rapid rise of China's economy, Zhang said the tide has changed, and there was now an increasing demand for Chinese models by businesses wanting a share of the Chinese market.
"By using a Chinese models, it is seen that a product or label is suitable and is accepted in China," Zhang said.
Zhang is also a fashion designer, and will be dressing Yang in one of her creations - a designer red gown - for Saturday's event.
The models will also be wearing her summer swimsuit collection, and NZ Fashion Week designers Ryan Turner's and Srishti Kaur's designs.
"We've have taken some of our best models here because we want to showcase the best of what China has on offer," she said.
"My hope is to build a fashion business here with my models."
Model Crystal Zhang, who is 1.82m tall, started modelling at the age of 12, and won her first championship at the Shanghai International Young Model Competition in 2012 when she was just 13.
At 19, she is already considered a veteran - having also won the Busan International Super Model Fashion competition in 2013 and the World Model Competition title in 2014.
Crystal was appointed World Model Competition ambassador, and said she was thrilled about being in "beautiful New Zealand" and was looking forward to the opportunities that Saturday's show would bring.