Andreja Pejic, who stands 6-foot-1 in stocking feet, and a good deal taller than that in heels, looks every bit the model. She is possessed of bottle-blond hair that falls past her shoulders, full lips, a wasp waist and a pair of Cindy Crawford beauty marks just north of her upper lip. (Even Ms. Crawford has only one.)
On Labor Day, just back in New York from a vacation with her mother and grandmother in Italy, Ms. Pejic, 23, arrived at her agency’s office in a leather pencil skirt from Ports 1961 and a silk Calvin Klein blouse, a picture of elegance compromised only by the occasional glimpse of a peach lace bra.
It was a far cry from the look she cultivated when she first appeared on the fashion scene typically dressed in a punkish, provocative mixture of men’s and women’s wear. “I had fun with androgyny, I had fun being rock ‘n’ roll,” she said. “But now it’s time to be chic.”
Outside, hundreds of young models, most not as striking or as experienced as Ms. Pejic, are wandering wide-eyed through a city many of them barely know, portfolios in hand. They are going from casting call to casting call, rarely knowing their shifting schedules more than a few hours in advance, in the hope of being selected for runway shows. They have descended en masse upon New York for fashion week, which began on Thursday and runs through next week. Later, they will arrive, as if by airlift, in London, then Milan, then Paris, as the international round of fashion weeks moves across the globe.
But Ms. Pejic is no longer pounding the pavement. She is taking meetings, exploring collaborations and hoping to secure a spot in a top show. The signal difference between her and every other wraith-thin young woman swarming the environs of Madison Square Park, where a concentration of top modeling agencies have offices, is that she has already had a yearslong and very successful career as a male model named Andrej Pejic.
And now, after several months away from the business, she is waiting to see whether a major designer — indeed, the entire fashion establishment — will accept her as a woman.
Four years ago, Ms. Pejic arrived in Europe and became a fast favorite of editors and designers, especially those with a rebellious bent. Her first professional job landed her on the cover of Oyster, an Australian fashion magazine, and during her first Paris season, she was cast by men’s wear designers including Paul Smith, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Jean Paul Gaultier, who became a major supporter. “I worked a suit very well,” Ms. Pejic said.source