Ground-breaking cover ‘girl’: Transgender model Andrej Pejic lands his first cover of Elle magazine
He is the wildly successful transgender model that even Kate Moss has described as ‘beautiful.’Now Andrej Pejic can add Elle cover ‘girl’ to his vast list of achievements as he graces the cover of Serbian Elle’s January issue.The controversial model, who has hit the catwalk dressed as both sexes, is the first transgender model ever to be on the cover of Elle. Dressed entirely in Jean Paul Gautier, the shoot features Andrej as both a man and a woman. Perhaps in a symbolic representation of his real life gender struggle, ‘female’ Andrej, dressed in black lacy lingerie and suspenders, wrestles with ‘male’ Andrej who wears a variety of dark suits. Andrej, who has appeared in other high fashion magazines including French Vogue, is a muse of Jean Paul Gautier who provided all the clothing for the ground-breaking shoot. Significantly the magazine is for Andrej’s home country of Serbia. Pejic fled to Australia as a political refugee when he was eight following the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia.
Responding to controversy over his feminine looks in the past he 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.’
The constant controversy surrounding him has done nothing to slow down his career. The 21-year-old is in high demand and was even chosen to model for a lingerie campaign last year.
Andrej’s lack of cleavage did nothing to hinder his appeal: in the poster, for Dutch department store Hema, the model advertised a push-up bra.
He has also hit the catwalk to model wedding dresses for Rosa Clara, looking every inch the feminine bride.An ‘industry term’ has even been invented after him: The ‘Andrej Pejic effect’ refers to male models who use make-up or have androgynous appeal.But it’s not all fun and games for Pejic, who admits he has to work hard to maintain a woman’s figure. He told Grazia magazine: ‘To do womenswear I have to be disciplined. My waist has gone from 29 to 25 inches, my hips are 35 inches.’