Fashion, or more specifically, its commercial side such as cosmetics isn’t ready to take the perceived risk of a trans model to front a potentially multi-billion dollar campaign.But there are signs now that the industry is beginning to awaken to the transgender spectrum with the rise of Givenchy muse Lea T, while May Simon and Stav Strashko are doing the rounds at the ongoing fashion weeks.
“It’s about proving my position in the industry and speaking out for equal rights and gaining respect in fashion for transgender models, because it doesn’t exist right now.”It’s a socially charged mission statement that you wouldn’t typically expect to hear from a model.
However, there’s nothing typical about Andreja Pejic.
Although Pejic was originally unsure about filming her transition, her filmmaker friend Eric Miclette encouraged her, saying, “You need to capture this, you’ll regret it if you don’t.
It’s a unique story and it can help a lot of young people.” The film, entitled “Andrej(a)", is looking to raise $200,000 on crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter. On the question of whether her love life is better as a woman, she coyly giggles, “I’m single at the moment but it’s definitely more fun when you’re comfortable with yourself.” Pejic adds: “I’ve been off the dating scene for a while but I’m open to love.
“I think society is ready but fashion needs to get with it – it’s happening,” argues Pejic.
They’re the words of an activist who is spreading awareness through an autobiographical book, which will be published through Penguin in Australia early next year, and a documentary of her sex reassignment surgery.And it’s not hard to see why she’s been called upon by brands like YSL, Louis Vuitton and Tom Ford: She’s stunningly good looking with her pale Swedish skin and chiseled cheekbones.Her most feminine of looks show she’s just as gorgeous with a colored lip and carefully constructed up-do as she is fresh-faced and donning a half-shaved head.At 14, she even went to a doctor who explained that she was too young to begin the transitioning process.For the time being, Pejic, who is signed to Storm Model Management, was forced to escape reality and the occasional childish taunt of “poofter” through her imagination: “I would dream about going to the store with my mum or dating the cutest boy at school – quite mundane things actually but for me they were the biggest dreams.”Pejic says that she was “lucky to have an early intervention” from both professionals and an understanding mother but admits that had this not been the case, she, like many of the trans community, might have suffered from depression and contemplated suicide.Read our moving story about a Metro staffer who recently started her life as a female.“I have a level of social responsibility, and that’s one of the reasons for coming out and facing everything that is going to come afterwards,” she explains.