Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Do like Andrej, wear what you fancy!

Andrej Pejic models menswear and womenswear,

reads Tolstoy and

was just voted the 98th sexiest woman in the world.


Back in the Balkans, Pejic says he had already “started to exhibit cross-gender behaviour. I played with dolls and Barbies from an early age. It felt natural, and quite instinctive". Some people have said, ‘Well, because you don’t have a father you were geared towards your mother,’ but my brother grew up in the same environment as me and did very boyish things.”

When he was about 11, Pejic says he “really started seeing the differences in the genders, the barriers, and that I couldn’t really afford to do things as I did as a kid”. Why couldn’t you? “Socially, it was inappropriate. So I tried to make other people happy, to be more acceptable, and more boyish.

Then, aged 14 or so, the boy who had emerged from the Balkans with a profound contempt for Balkanisation – “I’ve seen the poison of nationalism, seen what it can do. I’m allergic to it now. Basing your identity on race just seems ridiculous” – decided to cease basing his identity on gender.

I had been depressed for a while and came to a point where I was like, ‘F*** it, do I want to make other people happy or do I want to make myself happy?’  ”

So Pejic started bleaching his brown hair blond, or dying it pink, and wearing jeans tighter than a Beyoncé dance routine.

One day, when Pejic was 16, working in McDonald’s (“That’s a gruelling job,” he muses, “just the primitive capitalist environment that you experience”), a local model agent walked in, ordered a cheeseburger, looked up and spotted his server. Along with the burger he took away a promise from Pejic to come into the office. The agency advised Pejic to finish high school and then have a crack at Europe: “They said, ‘You’re unique, but you’re not going to work here.’  ”

Two years later, in February last year, Pejic arrived in London. He toured the agencies but soon became glum. “They were confused about how to market me. They thought I was too feminine for menswear.” With one appointment left, Pejic feared that he’d wasted the money his mother gave him for the flight.

But that appointment was with Sarah Doukas, the owner of Storm (who spotted Kate Moss at an airport). “She said, ‘I’m going to take him on.’ ”


Source: Andrej Pejic in The Times magazine

More: Polemic Pejic at New Male Fashion