Welcome to Fashion Industry Broadcast’s Top Ten countdown for our upcoming TOP MODELS ‘It Girls’ Vol. 61 series involving the biggest names in the modelling world. We love giving you a little taste of what we’ve been up to, so each week we’ll be counting down to the launch of our brand spankin’ new glossy.
The Australian model Andreja Pejic was known originally to her Bosnian parents as Andrej Pejic in Bosnia-Herzegovina on August 28, 1991. Her family, including Pejic’s older brother, fled their home country and migrated to Melbourne after deciding that their living situation at home during the Bosnian War was unsafe. Making her start as a high-fashion androgynous model, Andreja Pejic has become one of the most talked about transgender models of today, and continues to smash down gender barriers, paving the way for more diversity in the future.
In an era that doesn’t seem to be shaped with any rhyme or reason, diversification is flooding the industry and Pejic is certainly a face at the forefront. Discovered flipping burgers at McDonalds at the tender age of 16, Pejic soon became a star. Always being one to test gender boundaries, Pejic started off modelling for Jean-Paul Gaultier in both women’s and men’s shows and shortly after was appearing in men’s shows for Marc by Marc Jacobs. Pejic’s name and success skyrocketed months after appearing on the runways and was soon seen on magazine covers all over the world. Like many of her transgendered counterparts, her career was not without some struggles.
Being transgendered in this day and age is certainly arguably less difficult than in years past, but many people shy away from the unknown, and unfortunately the concept of being transgender is still sitting in that category, primarily. Her name was synonymous with controversy in 2011 for her cover for New York magazine, Dossier Journal, because the cover featured a luscious-haired blond Pejic removing her top. Because she was considered as ‘transitioning’ at the time, the cover was deemed too risqué for certain bookstores in the States. The following year was easier for the young trans-supermodel as her sex-change was openly discussed and applauded more than criticised. OUT Magazine named her as one of their 100 Most Compelling People of 2011, and this became one of many awards she was recognized for.
After overcoming many obstacles that normally wouldn’t have been a problem for the traditional model, Pejic’s beauty and talent proved itself. She began landing covers with the giants like Vogue internationally left and right, and was also was receiving opportunities to strut her stuff down numerous runways, like more Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jeremy Scott and even DKNY. Pejic dabbled with work in popular advertisement campaigns, cementing herself as a Jack (or Jane) of all trades with her flexibility, adaptability and chameleon-like tendencies.
In 2014 Pejic finally underwent sex reassignment surgery, although she knew she had been ready years before actually undergoing the procedure. She is well-loved for being open and relatable, and the fact that she went through with transitioning all under the scrutiny of the public eye reveals her true bravery – many in the transgender community do not have the luxury of not having the entire world watching the process. She told the press later in the year that she admitted to being more concerned about coming out than undergoing gender reassignment, because she was worried that coming out would have a negative impact on her career. More recently, Pejic has branched out into the world of beauty with her first major beauty campaign ‘face’, Makeup Forever, due out late 2015, and she responded by famously thanking her photographer and some of the people at Vogue for making history with her as a part of it:
“[Thank you.] But even more importantly, for representing a whole social minority and an often forgotten community of women in such an important publication,” she said. “And [thanks] for opening doors for the rest of the fashion industry to do so.”
With the modelling world becoming more diversified than ever, Andreja Pejic is someone we all have to pay credit to for being an industry changer. Without brave individuals laying themselves out for the world to see, we would always have the same type of models in the business. Pejic has stuck to her own interests, regardless of how they might have affected her career. With her advocating for more diversity in the field, she’s changing the game – literally.
In fact, Pejiic posed in May 2015 for Patrick Demarchalier for American Vogue – the publication’s first ever profile of a transgender model, reinforcing Pejic’s thoughts that believing what is “in-between your legs” shouldn’t represent anyone in their entirety. The issue itself took a wider look into what is now coined as “Trans America” and talks about the new “frontier in gender politics.” There are many others breaking into the industry of fashion and beauty that are transgender so it is clear that Pejic has sparked a world-wide phenomenon. Andreja Pejic will forever be one of our favourite ‘It Girls’ for shaping industry standards, and kicking gender stereotypes in the… well, you get the point.
Stay tuned for our upcoming TOP MODELS ‘It Girls’ Vol. 61 coming soon!