Some folks in the audience at Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall/Winter Paris fashion show this past weekend might have thought that this model, Andrej Pejic, was just another tall, skinny, striking blonde female model like Karlie Kloss, Aline Weber and other top walkers.
But this is a model who is already doing Gaultier’s menswear fragrance ad campaign. And he’s not a woman, he’s a man.
Born in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991, Andrej fled to Serbia with his family, settling in a refugee camp near Belgrade. Later the family immigrated to Australia, in 2000. He was discovered in Australia, in his teens, and was noted for his unique androgyny.
He first walked both the men's and women's shows in 2011 for Gaultier and the men's shows for Marc Jacobs. In May 2011, Pejic's cover for the New York-based magazine Dossier Journal — he was photographed removing his shirt, his long blond locks in curlers — was considered so scandalous that the magazine had to be covered in both Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores.
As of September 2011, he reached the no. 18 on the models.com Top 50 Male Models list. There’s now buzz that he may star in French film director Florence Dewavrin, movie based on Andre Balzac's 1834 novel, "Séraphita," a novel about an androgynous youth who attracts the love of both a woman and a man, both of him believing him to be the opposite sex.
Andrej hopes his apperance will create a more open world, telling Out magazine: “I would like to live in a world where your gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and, above all, financial status didn't affect the opportunities you are given in life, the way you're treated by others, and your overall freedom. In a world like that, I wouldn't be given such a complex definition.”
He’s already helping change the fashion world. Pejic looked awesome in a metallic, graffiti-print suit with a orange fur casually flung over this shoulder in Gaultier’s Saturday show. And the very next day, Sunday, he was sitting with all the other famous folks in the front row at the John Galliano Fall/Winter show.