Interview: Andrej Pejic.
“I have broken prejudices”
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Marta Cervera, BARCELONA
Andrej Pejic yesterday was, in Rosa Clara dress, the center of attention. The 20-year androgynous star of fashion walks for both men and women clothes.
- Would you like to dress as a bride?
I love it. These clothes are beautiful. It’s a shame we could not dress like that more often.
- Do you choose it for your wedding?
I will mostly do modern things but I would consider it as a mix between classic and modern, like the other two models that paraded.
-The first wedding dress for you was Jean-Paul Gaultier.
That was very special because I closed his haute couture show in Paris. But Barcelona is also important because I debuted in a bridal fashion show.
- What is best for you, to walk for male or female?
I would rather do as a woman because historically they have been better paid. The girls won in this model field, they are the true icons of fashion.
- Define: Man or woman?
I am as I am. Man, woman … What does it matter? At the end of the day they are not so different. Both belong to the same species. If a man takes me to be his wife, I do not care. It’s fun. Let them think what they want.
- Cultivating ambiguity has been successful so far.
It is that I feel good as I am. Fashion has played a lot with masculinity and femininity. Somehow, I opened a way, I have broken prejudices. Models like me were not in fashion before.
- How about Angelina Jolie’s film that addresses the violations during the war in your country?
It only shows one side of the story. My mother is Serbian and my father Croatian. My view is more objective.
Andrej Pejic - Tetu Magazine March 2012
Catching Up With Andrej Pejic
By William Van Meter
A conversation with Out100 honoree Andrej Pejic on his philosophy of modeling and why he won’t get a boner for a photoshoot.
Out: The press highlights you as an intersection of many things, including a man who can walk in women’s shows (and is super comfortable with it) and Croat/Serb or Australian. How do you define yourself? Is it even along this spectrum?
Pejic: Define, refine, constrict, package, and sell… No thank you. I would like to live in a world where your gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and, above all, financial status didn’t affect the opportunities you are given in life, the way you’re treated by others, and your overall freedom. In a world like that, I wouldn’t be given such a complex definition.
Most people would think that the world of male modeling would be populated by a huge number of gay guys, which in reality is not true. What is it like for you backstage working at a men’s show?
The male modeling industry is like the army, very straight but very gay. Most male models have girlfriends, but backstage, when no one is looking, they like to pinch me. Working with them is fun—I have a lot of male model friends.
Advertising is such a barometer of what the mass market deems acceptable, and you’ve made a major stab into the mainstream with advertisements for Marc by Marc Jacobs and Gaultier. Do you think it’s harder for you to book advertisements as opposed to other male models?
Well, the media has definitely jumped on the bandwagon. The people, it seems, are coming on fast, now we’re just waiting for the clients to catch up. The truth is I have to work twice as hard to be taken as seriously as the top girls. I understand that it will take time for me to prove that I’m actually a good model once you look past the media hype and the uniqueness of my looks. But hey, I’m not the first that has had to fight.
You seem pretty fearless in your career, easily doing men’s and women’s and—to be a bit crude—having the balls to wear a skirt or dress (and wear it well). Is there anything that has been demanded of you at a shoot that you’ve said no to?
My philosophy is “take it and work it!” No matter what! Although, I have been asked to get aroused for a shot. I declined. I like to serve beauty, not porn.
Everyone is going nuts about you meeting the queen and wearing a Versace skirt to do it. How’d you pick your outfit?
I was tempted to wear a suit, like a nice fitted tuxedo, but it didn’t work out in the end. So I went for a ’90s Sharon Stone-inspired look. And the hair added some youth to the situation. The palace was beautiful—I felt right at home. And let’s face it, we all love a good Queen.