Standing at 5 foot 10 inches in her stocking feet, Brittnia Bewley Case has always been a head above most other girls. In the world of high fashion modeling the 23-year-old Bloomfield native is also standing tall.
Her quest to model and work the world over with the top designers began five years ago. With a combination of her specific look and several lucky breaks, Case has already exceeded her wildest dreams.
"She is amazing and is a total professional," Jake Lang, her manager, said. Lang is the owner of Wings Model Management in Cincinnati and has worked in the industry for 25 years. "She was a diamond in the rough, but she shined from the very beginning."
Case's parents, Rick and Brenda Bewley, and younger sister Megan, live in Nelson County. Her sibling may be following in Case's footsteps, she said. Meagan is the current Miss Nelson County Fair.
Lang said Case, who has worked professionally under her married and maiden names, was a hit early on due to her ability to adapt well and be what a desiner or photographer is looking for in a model.
"She's just so good at it," Lang said. "She is a true natural and I don't say that about all my models, believe me."
Case, a 2001 graduate of Nelson County High School, said she never really moved out of the area, despite working in New York, Japan, South Africa, and several European countries the past five years.
"This is home for me," she said. "I can't really picture ever leaving here for good no matter what I end up doing."
Case accepts work at a location, does the job and then eventually finds her way back home. She works with different agencies depending upon which nation she is working. One describes her on its Web site as "Miss Bewley from Kentucky, who is lucky, lucky, lucky."
Case said her build has been as much a reason for her success as anything to this point. Her measurements are 32-inch bust, 23-inch waist and 34-inch hips. her aforementioned height falls in the middle of the 5-foot 8 inches to 6-feet range for most models that work the runway at fashion events and in magazines.
"We're all tall and very thin," she said. "This look is currently popular. It might fall out of favor in a few years, who knows?"
That uncertainty is part of why Case has chosen to take a year to regroup and focus on her education and life with her husband Brian. She is attending Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and studying to become a teacher. She is working for Bardstown gymnastics as a cheerleading coach and still models when the work doesn't interfere with her schedule.
She enjoys playing piano and is learining more about the guitar. But despite many of her peers' efforts to break into the music scene or become actresses, Case has no desire to join them.
"I'll just stick to what I know works for me," she said. Case will be at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville today working with Wings Modeling agency booth. She will literally be looking for another girl like herself to pluck from small town life and thrust into the spotlight.
Wings is working with Vision Model Management, a New York City based agency, to select 10 undiscovered models. Five male and female models will be chosen and Vision will select one of each for an all- expences-paid trip to New York for test work, Lang said. Case was quick to make it clear that what Lang does is nothing like signing up for photos or modeling classes. He finds people, gets them work and gets them paid, she said.
"If somebody asks you to pay for classes or to buy a bunch of photos you are throwing your money away," Case said."I know, my parents spent about $1000 that got us nowhere. You have to work with legitimate agencies that pay you for your work." She said there are a few modeling groups that scour the nation for the next big thing by going to a large city and having perspective models show up for tests and classes.
Within a year of her first meeting with its representatives, she was in Paris, France, shooting a magazine ad and working the runway at a fashion show.
Of all the people she has posed and work clothes for, Case said she most wants to continue a relationship with New York-based clothing designers Jill Stuart and Nicole Miller. Both treeated her well and made her look and feel great, she said.
The country she enjoyed the most in her travels thus far was Japan. "Their culture is just amazing and the people I met were so respectful and polite," Case said. "That was a great place to work and I can't wait to go back there again." Her work has appeared mostly overseas. Few in the U.S. outside the fashion industry have seen her photos, she said. "I have been in British and German Vogue, Italian Vanity Fair and Italian Elle," Case said. "There were some other ones that are less-well known too like Nylon, Pop, Numero, and D."
Her work with D was limited though due to her unwillingness to work topless. It cost her some work, but that isn't a problem for a woman who said despite all she has been exposed to hasn't lost her morals. Case hasn't ever appeared nude for photos or on the runway and said there really isn't anything that could persuade her to do so.
She wil wear fur in her work, something many models refuse to do. It isn't that Case is against animal-rights or making any type or political statement, she said it was just part of growing up in the south where people cook and eat meat regularly.
"I'm not one of those 'I only eat tofu' girls you see and hear about," Case said. The past five years having passed rather quickly, trying to picture her life in another five years is nearly impossible, she said.
"I'll just take it as it comes," Case said. "I'm not going to force something to happen in my career, but I won't stop a great oppurtunity either. No matter what I just want to be happy."