Transgender model makes her debut as a woman
Andreja Pejic broke through to the other side at the Giles Deacon show in London
Andreja was born Andrej but was always drawn to women’s clothes and makeup. But sex reassignment is expensive and long-drawn—modelling, on the other hand, came easy to this waifish Serbian-Aussie, who Jean Paul Gaultier described as an ‘otherworldly beauty’. Even as a male model, Pejic, with a full platinum blonde mane and bee-stung lips, showcased more androgynous and feminine fashion, once appearing as a bride for Gaultier’s couture show in spring 2011. As lucrative as her dual identity on the ramp was, the model said to People, “About a year and a half ago, I reevaluated things. I was proud of my gender nonconforming career. But my biggest dream was to be comfortable in my own body. I have to be true to myself and the career is just going to have to fit around that.”
A journey that began at 9, when Pejic started taking puberty blockers, has now finally reached its destination. The show for Giles Deacon in London is her first as a woman after her sex reassignment procedure was completed in the US last year. On Instagram and Twitter, the influential Pejic is a vocal supporter of transgender rights—and she’s generous with the off-runway beauty tricks too.
With the recent Diesel campaign featuring a model with leukoderma, the debut of a model with Downs Syndrome at NYFW and now Pejic, the fashion biz has become a more inclusive space that celebrates rather than airbrushes away differences. Besides being compassionate, this is also a smart move. The easiest way for your brand to be a hero is to find a model who already is one.