Melinda Rader may be the fastest rising model in fashion. She got a late start in a business where most models turn pro at 15. But she announced her presence with a bold, stunning nude photo shoot in Viktor magazine.

Rader, 22, is no shrinking violet and she’s a model with brains. She got a late start because she waited to graduate from college. She earned a degree in creative writing from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

She debuted at a Beverly Hills fashion show and signed with Elite Model Management. She was only modeling for six months when she was named “Model of the Week” by last August.

On her first ever overseas assignment to Greece, Melinda shot 14 editorial features in a month.

“Intimidatingly beautiful, intelligent and confident, Melinda is the type of girl people want to work with because she just gets it,” the site says of her. “Add to the mix her perfect runway strut, and it’s obvious that this girl is a natural.”

Rader put her natural beauty on display in the January issue of Viktor, a quarterly Italian magazine dedicated to style and creativity, according to its Web site. She posed nude for photographer Joshua Kogan in a shoot aptly titled “California Dreaming.”

The stunning and provocative images fit’s description to a tee. She’s intimidatingly beautiful and supremely confident. Ironically, though, she’s not from California. the 5’10 1/2″ model grew up in Ashland, Ore.

The town, located just north of the California border, has only has 20,000 residents, and Rader is already a hometown celebrity. She graduated from Ashland High School in 2006. Her boyfriend, Ben Claflin, is also an Ashland High School and USC grad.

“Modeling was something I wanted to do for a long time and something I’ve been propositioned to do, but I wanted to make sure I finished school,” she told the hometown newspaper in an interview.

Elite signed her on the strength of a few photos of her against a white background.

“I love to go to work and feel way more pretty than I ever do in my own clothes,” she said about the business. “I love to travel, and that’s something I can do modeling.”