As photographers and stylists, we encounter models on a daily basis. Each shoot is spent sharing interests, opinions and ideas. No day is ever the same, nor is every model. More than their job description, more than just a stereotype; not just a pretty face, but a resident of the world. Kelia Moniz is a Model Citizen.

Kelia sis Moniz
Photo - Leila Joy

Kelia is the sister you wish you had. The kind who knows every person in the lineup, and calls you into every wave that comes through, even though she could surf circles around any one else out there. She grew up flanked by brothers, thus the nickname ‘Sis’ which just stuck - she’s a sister to everyone.

This beauty looks all the best parts of her Japanese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Chinese and Irish heritage. But it’s surfing that runs through her blood. Alongside her dad pro surfing legend Tony Moniz, she was raised on board wax and reef cuts in their family surf school, which sits right on the pulse of the surfing heartland at Waikiki. Thrown in with the boys from a young age, she learnt to be tough pretty quickly. Whether it’s a spectacular wipe out at 10ft Teahupoo or loosing a couple of teeth on a boat deck in the Maldives, nothing fazes this shredder. Least of all the scar on her right shoulder. “Reef graze from Hawaii.” No biggie.

A longboarder and Queen of style, Sis carves waves with a kind of fierce grace, every cross step is an elegant yet calculated move in a dance with the ocean that only she knows

Photo - Leila Joy

Photo - Leila Joy