Local teens enjoy their experiences in modeling world

Strike a pose

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Identical twins Brandi (left) and Brittni Nester have kept busy modeling handbags and designer clothing this summer. They plan on attending Green River Community College in the fall and focusing on early education.

It’s been quite a summer for identical twins Brittni and Brandi Nester.

They’ve traveled to L.A. for a runway show, done hair modeling and fashion shoots in Portland, and most recently, jetted to New York for a runway charity event put on by VH1.

The 18-year-old Camas High School grads got their start last year, when Brittni signed up for the American Mall Model Search Contest at the Westfield Vancouver Mall.

“It was something new to do and I thought it could be fun,” she said.

After a photo shoot, runway show and talent competitions, Brittni went on to win the contest.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I tried sports of every kind in high school and it wasn’t good. Then I win a big modeling contest.”

During the contest, Brandi and Brittni were both scouted by a Portland agency, Muse, and asked if they’d like to be models there.

“At first we thought it was a joke,” Brandi said.

But the offer was indeed serious.

A year later, the twins have experienced the modeling world and are enjoying it, especially the opportunity to earn extra money for college and keep the designer handbags from their most recent show.

In L.A., the twins modeled for designers such as Liberate Apparel and Daisy Viktoria.

Both agreed that it was good they had an opportunity to do some runway before heading to the Hamptons.

“Our first runway show was really nerve-wracking,” Brittni said. “But I felt famous while I was in the Hamptons.”

The runway show was a fund-raiser for the Save The Music Foundation, so the girls were not paid, but got to keep the handbags and received vouchers for designer swimwear.

“I was the first to go out on the runway, so I was really nervous but I knew what I was doing,” Brittni said. “There were lots of cameras and flashing lights.”

Brandi, who got to model a Chanel outfit, said it was a bit chaotic but also a lot of fun.

“I love trying on all of the different outfits and meeting new designers and having the clothing and accessories,” she said.

Later this month, they will travel to Seattle to do a shoot for a national catalog, Shibaguyz Designz.

Their mom, Rhonda, is proud the girls have found their niche.

“It’s been fun because they really weren’t sports kids in school,” she said. “They’ve found something for themselves now.

“My son plays sports all year long, so I’m glad the girls have found something.”

Doing runway shows and national catalog shoots is vindication for the girls who were cut from the high school cheer squad because they “needed to grow into their bodies.”

“They didn’t make it in high school cheerleading, but they can model for famous designers in the Hamptons,” Rhonda said. “I’m just glad they didn’t give up on finding something they enjoyed doing.”

In the fall, Brandi and Brittni will move to Auburn, Wash. to begin classes at Green River Community College, where they both plan to focus on early education.

“Modeling is something I do for fun,” Brandi said. “College will be stressful enough, this is a side thing to do.”

Added Brittni, “We’ll see if we can fit it in on the weekends.”