Changing the face of fashion since she broke onto the womenswear runways in 2011, the Croatian-born 22 year old has just revealed that earlier this year she underwent sex reassignment surgery and is now a transgender woman, going by the name of Andreja. Walking for Jean Paul Gautier, John Galliano, Paul Smith and Raf Simons, dressed as a modern day Betty Catroux at Gaultier and in a white ski jacket with bare legs at Raf, Andreja Pejic immediately ignited debates as to whether she was a boy or a girl. Unfazed by gender boundaries, Andreja instead represented a brave new world and a new breed free to wear menswear and womenswear and looking equally as impressive in both. Her unique ability to cross, blur, stretch or break genders on catwalk and in print reflects the erosion of boundaries whirlwinding through the fashion industry. In every industry there are moments that change the way we go about our work. Andreja might just be the change that the fashion industry needed.
When and where were you scouted?
When I was sixteen. I was waiting at the airport in Melbourne and my agent Joseph threw a modelling contract at me.
You’ve worked with some big names so far...
I’ve walked for Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Paul Smith, and appeared in editorials for French Vogue, shot with Mert and Marcus, styled by Carine Roitfeld. The best thing is being able to travel the world, especially at such a young age.
Do you have a preference walking in men or women’s shows?
I like both really, in different ways. It feels good to be the only boy on a women’s catwalk. I get all the attention and I don’t mind as long as it is creative.
How did you feel when you were first approached to walk in a womenswear show?
I thought "Fine lets do it!" Every man wants to wear a dress once in a while, it’s liberating. I’m not restricted by gender barriers.
Who are your heroes?
I don’t think anyone deserves to be idolised but I’m inspired by Boy George, David Bowie, Amanda Lear and the 80s. Plus the New Romantics.
How do you feel about youth culture today?
It depends where you are; different parts of the world are more open-minded and experimental. I don’t think there is an overall trend that defines our generation, whereas in the 90s, 80s and 70s you had that. I think today we are a mix of everything.
How would you describe your style?
Edgy and playful. Sometimes androgynous. Being able to express yourself creatively is what I like, though at the same time I don’t think it is that important. I just wear whatever I feel is appealing. I like stuff that is a bit out there like Rick Owens. Dark is good.
When did you start growing your hair?
When I was about thirteen; I thought it would look good. I went to a really cool school that didn’t care, I just did my own thing.
Has modelling changed you?
I don’t think so. I don’t think it defines me either; I defined myself even before I started modelling. But I’ve seen the world and the time I’ve spent being by myself has made me more mature. I like London, Berlin and I love Paris. I would love to move to Europe at some point.
What do your friends and family make of your success?
My mum is really supportive emotionally. They think it’s an amazing experience and I should enjoy it whilst I’m still young.
Are there any strong new faces you have noticed recently?
I really like Paul Boche.