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Stella Maxwell has been named the world's hottest woman

KIWI supermodel Stella Maxwell, a Victoria's Secret star who was heavily rumoured to have dated Miley Cyrus, has been crowned the World's Most Beautiful Woman.

The 25-year-old Victoria's Secret Angel - who has strutted the catwalk for Balmain, Versace, Marc Jacobs and Fendi - topped Maxim magazine's annual list of the hottest females on the planet, beating competition from the likes of last year's winner Taylor Swift, and 2013's winner Miley Cyrus - Maxwell's ex-girlfriend.

The bombshell dedicated her win to women around the world and posted a picture of her racy cover shoot for the magazine - which sees her naked except for a gold breast plate and choker and skimpy gold thong - on Instagram.

She captioned the image: "Thank you to @maximmag for naming me No. 1 hottest girl 2016... I want to share this with all the women around the world because we are all Number 1."

The full list of the world's hottest women will be announced in the magazine when it is published on June 14.

However, in extracts from her interview with the publication, Maxwell revealed her "positive" outlook on life has helped her achieve her goals.

She said: "I believe that thinking positively and envisioning the best possible outcome can add to your achievements. It doesn't always work out, but if I visualise myself getting what I want, it can happen. Positivity helps with everything in life.

"You hope for these things and you are grateful to be given the opportunity, and then you just have to throw yourself into the work."

Maxwell also thinks she'll handle her soaring fame because she has a good head on her shoulders and admitted she "peaked" later in life.

She said: "I think those of us who have found success grew into ourselves in our 20s. I know I was not the hottest chick at school! We all peaked a little later than the other girls."

Meanwhile, Maxwell bemoaned dating has gotten harder the more busy she has been modelling: "Dating is pretty hard, since I'm always on the road. I keep my personal life personal."

Born in Belgium to Irish parents, Stella Maxwell moved to New Zealand at the age of 14 before a brief sojourn in Australia. She went to school in Wellington at Queen Margaret College, then studied at the University of Otago - where she was discovered by the Dunedin-based Ali McD agency and started her modelling career.

MEOW-TZ @stellamaxwell 😻😻😻

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

She was signed as an official Victoria's Secret Angel in May 2015 after walking in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 as a mere mortal.

After being discovered by Dunedin agent Aliana McDaniel in 2008, she was signed by Donald Trump's agency and moved to Paris.

She's landed high-profile ad campaigns for ASOS, Alexander McQueen, H&M and Urban Outfitters, as well as walking for Jeremy Scott, Marc Jacobs and Mochina. Maxwell has also appeared in Vogue and Elle editorial shoots.

She met Cyrus through Miley's BFF, photographer Cheyne Thomas, on Instagram - describing their first meetings as feeling "very organic and right".

Cyrus has since been rumoured to have returned to her former fiance, Liam Hemsworth.

Maxim's previous winners
2015: Taylor Swift
2014: Candice Swanepoel
2013: Miley Cyrus
2012: Bar Refaeli
2011: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
2010: Katy Perry
2009: Olivia Wilde
2008: Marisa Miller
2007: Lindsay Lohan
2006: Eva Longoria

- With Bang! Showbiz

- NZ Herald