Who is Andrej Pejic and why do we care that this model is on the cover of Serbian Elle?
Pejic is the wildly successful European transgender model, who has been dubbed “beautiful” by supermodel Kate Moss.
And she’s not the only one in the fashion industry who feels that way. The Serbian-born model has become the hot new It Boy/Girl in Europe, first walking both the men's and women's shows in 2011 for designer Jean Paul Gaultier and the men's shows for Marc Jacobs. In May 2011, Pejic's cover for Dossier Journal — removing his shirt, his long blond locks in curlers — was considered so scandalous that the magazine had to be covered in Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores.
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 has become a muse to Gaultier and also is the face of one of the designer's mens' fragrances.
Dressed entirely in Gaultier, the shoot features Andrej as both a man and a woman. Pejic's feminine side shines in black lace lingerie and suspenders while his masculine persona models dark suits.
Pejic has also appeared in French Vogue and recently told New York magazine: “My gender is open to artistic interpretation. I don’t really have that sort of strong gender identity. I identify as what I am. The fact that people are using it for creative or marketing purposes, it’s just kind of like having a skill and using it to earn money.”
But like all models, staying slender is difficult. He told Grazia: "To do womenswear, I have to be disciplined. My waist has gone from 29 to 25 inches, my hips are 35 inches.”
But his androgynous bust served him well when he landed a gig modeling a push-up bra for a Dutch department store called Hema.