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The 18 year old, who is currently balancing modeling with college in New York City, spoke to People this week about how she was told she had to wait before starting her career in the fashion industry. In fact, she said her first job offer had nothing to do with her icon mom at all.
“I was stopped in a Brandy Melville when I was 12 and they asked me to model for their clothes. I was freaking out because Brandy Melville was my favorite at the time. It was the only place I went shopping,” she told the outlet. “I said ‘Mom, Mom, guess what? Brandy Melville wants me to model. Please, please.’ And she was like, ‘Absolutely not.’ I was really sad about it, but in the end she was right. And I feel like that's what sparked me to want to model more.”
Ultimately, Leni and Heidi appeared together on the cover of German Vogue in January 2021, marking Leni’s first modeling job. Leni told People the shoot was “just such a good day.” Since then, the two have appeared together in magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and for campaigns for brands like Intimissimi.
While Leni may have been spotted at Brandy Melville without her mom, she said that she is aware of the stereotypes around “nepotism babies,” or people who are the relatives of celebrities, who get a leg up in their desired industry because of their familial relationships.
"It's just a fact. My parents are famous," Leni said. "I did get help starting off, and I know that people would dream to start off with what I had. I'm so grateful that I've been able to take what was gifted to me by my mom. But I am doing the work and putting in the time. Now I'm working on my own, traveling alone, going to school. My mom and I just have the same love for the same thing."
In a September interview with Insider, Heidi spoke about how she and her daughter don’t always see eye-to-eye on “most” fashion trends, but “that’s the fun thing.”
“She has her own point of view on fashion and what she loves and so do I,” the Project Runway star said. “She does what she wants. She's 18, and I feel like she has a good sense of style. I like it."