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Meet the Fashion World's Breakout Star, Model Andrej Pejic

09/15/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

Andrej Pejic Fashion Week
Slaven Vlasic/Getty

At the Jeremy Scott fashion show at New York’s Milk Studios on Wednesday, model Andrej Pejic glided down the runway in a summery pink ensemble, blond waves flowing as the cameras clicked. And though Pejic looked just like every other girl on the catwalk, the up-and-comer is actually a male, able to work both sides of the fashion industry thanks to his striking, androgynous look.

Pejic, the subject of a recent New York magazine profile, was born in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but spent most of his youth in Australia. “I was scouted in Australia,” he told PEOPLE backstage at the Jeremy Scott show, adding that he considers the country his home.

After signing with Storm Models, his career took off: he walked in runway shows for John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier and Paul Smith, appeared in French and Italian Vogue and in 2011, signed on as the face of Marc by Marc Jacobs. “It’s good, I think,” he said of his meteoritic rise in the modeling world, which is reportedly leading to movie offers. “We’ll see what happens.”

In addition to walking for Scott — “Always fun, I love Jeremy’s work,” he said — Pejic hit the runway for Malan Breton and Custo Barcelona during Fashion Week. “Opening the show for Custo Barcelona,” was the highlight, he said.

And while Pejic has found much success in the world of womenswear, he would like to expand his reach. “I’d prefer to be established in menswear,” he said. But that doesn’t mean he’s not proud of what he’s accomplished so far. “I don’t know if I’m changing the world,” he added. “But I’m definitely trying something new in fashion. It creates awareness, spreads awareness and I’ve seen people smiling.”

See more of Pejic in PEOPLE’s Best Dressed issue, on newsstands Friday.

–Jeffrey Slonim

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Showing 23 comments

snagglez19 on

While I applaud Andrej for tearing down conceptions of beauty, I still find it interesting that the ideal female form for designers is in fact a form that women are not able to have.

Jane on

I totally agree. I think it’s fabulous. But I do find it a little disheartening that it’s still all about stick thin models. While I think these women (and men :) ) are beautiful, the average woman has curves. Some fashion houses have started incorporating curvier women in their runway shows but for the most part it’s still all about the waif. Even the designers that do make “plus size” clothing don’t make it readily available in their stores and they don’t showcase them on the runway.

Bec215 on

Armani had to practically be forced to ‘feminize’ his women’s jackets to provide more room in the bust and hips – but immediately sales went up 30%. Designers hate the female form, but women buy 80% of their clothes, so they grudgingly have to deal with it. I love when Project Runway foists a plus-size or ‘real person’ challenge on the designers – they’re flummoxed and can’t come up with anything flattering. It’s funny – but really sad.

Jester on

Absolutely lovin’ the outfit, but could do without the shoes. What a beautiful man, too. Could have fooled me.

Tamara on

I just looked at part of this young mans bio and, while I grant that he is very striking looking, I find it sad that apparently the fashion worlds “Ideal woman” is not a woman at all. No curves, no breasts, no hips, no butt… Apparently we are all supposed to have the bodies of a young boy to carry off the looks that fashion designers want to put forward. It is a very discouraging and disturbing trend.

lukey911 on

Not surprising! Most of these models are so emaciated they look like 14 year old boys anyway

smithie on

Tamara wrote it greatly…..

J on

Appalled that the designers are promoting the male figure as the ideal female figure. I’m going to rock my curves and big hips!

Karen on

While I have no problem with a male posing as a woman, I find it sad that the ideal model of a woman is a rail thin dude. Women were not designed to be rail thin stick figures…. Real woman have curves!

Maria on

Glad for Andrej but I read his interviews a week ago and he actually said that he even had to loose more weight for the female clothes! That’s just sad! According to designers we are not beautiful unless we are walking skeletons and 6ft tall!

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