It's coming up a decade since a brash, freckle-faced girl from Kawerau won cycle 2 of New Zealand's Next Top Model.
To say it's been a rollercoaster of high highs and the lowest of lows would be an understatement but Danielle Hayes is happy to acknowledge modelling has allowed her to live and breathe people, cities and cultures she may not have otherwise had the opportunity to.
So it was with mixed emotions she announced this year's New Zealand Fashion Week would be her last.
"It's not the end of the catwalk," Hayes said. "If something comes up overseas then I'd consider it but, right now, there's other things I want to do and other people I want to be rather than just The Next Top Model chick.
"I've met a lot of people through the journey I've been on and I want to use those connections to do more of the charity/fundraising work I've started."
In October the first of the fruit of those collaborations will appear after a late-night brainstorm by Hayes.
"I wanted to do something for Breast Cancer Awareness and an idea to produce a booklet of photos for sale popped into my head one night. My first call was to a hairdressing mate and it ballooned from there."
Keen to jump on board were Stan Walker and Soraya LaPread, daughter of Commodores band member Ronald LaPread, along with others.
"I organised the photographer, the make-up artist and the hair stylist within 24 hours then waited for the models I'd approached to agree," Hayes said.
She has a sneak peak of the photos on her public figure Facebook account but all will be revealed in October.
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"That's the sort of collaboration I want to put my time and effort into."
As well as charity work, public speaking and writing a book about mental health (she's finished 17 chapters with another six in the pipeline) Hayes has also spent a significant chunk of time as her Nan Cecelia's primary caregiver.
"Nan shared her 99th birthday with us earlier this year then called it a day near the end of May. She was a hugely influential part of my life and a great person all round.
"She went paragliding on her 85th birthday and horse riding on her 90th [I think].
"We're still getting used to her not being around."
Hayes has also become the Bizzy Buddyz (a Whakatāne childcare provider) van driver.
"I love the honesty of children," she said.
"Not long after I had started, one of the youngsters asked me what my name was.
"I told him my name was Danni and then he asked if I was a boy or a girl. He told me I sounded like a girl but I looked like a boy."
When announcing her "retirement" from the New Zealand fashion industry, Hayes said her last show would be for Zambezi on August 30.
"It's their [Zambezi's] 40th anniversary and I can't think of a better way to leave."
She admitted the show would be bittersweet but added there were no regrets about the journey since New Zealand's Next Top Model.
"I was 19 then, I'm 28 now and I've seen and experienced a lot. I look back on all my modelling photos and, in a way, the album is similar to a childhood album.
"Each photo tells a story of a country, a group of people or a milestone reached. Almost all show the glamour and not the hard work – but there's not much I'd change."