Nine News Monday 24 January 2011
A Melbourne model famous for his gender-bending appearance has been signed as the face of Jean Paul Gaultier's new spring wear campaign.
The announcement was made after Andrej Pejic, 19, hit the catwalk for the label at Paris Menswear Fashion Week at the weekend. The teen has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame over the past few months, with his unique androgynous appearance turning heads in the fashion world.
At Paris Fashion Week last year he modelled both menswear and womenswear for prominent labels including Galliano, Raf Simmons and Paul Smith, generating headlines with each show.
"Personally I dont care what gender a piece of clothing is assigned to as long as it's aesthetically appealing to me," Pejic told ninemsn in an email. "Although shooting womenswear can be a lot less restrictive, which ultimately is more fun."
Pejic, who was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to Melbourne in 1999, said his femininity began to emerge as he went through school. "It only really became noticeable when I got older and when every boy got pimples and hair in weird places and I was like oh hell nawh," he said.
Despite his stand-out looks, he did not face any bullying. "No one really wants to hit a pretty face. Plus I went to a great urban school," he said. He said he decided to get into modelling "for the opportunity to see the world but most of all the money"."I don't get out of bed for less than 50 bucks."
His Australian management company Chadwick Models today confirmed he had been signed as the new face of the Jean Paul Gaultier campaign. Gaultier's latest show is based on the pop culture image of film icon James Bond, in which Pejic represents both the secret agent and his female companion.
The 58-year-old designer said: "James Bond is an icon of masculinity, so much so that he's become a sort of sex object — just like the Bond girls he's seducing".