Australian model Andreja Pejic has proved the doubters wrong by becoming the first transgender woman to be grace the pages of Vogue.
Pejic, 23, who underwent gender-confirmation surgery last year, told Vogue she faced a surprising amount of resistance from the fashion industry when she announced her intention to transition.
“There was definitely a lot of ‘Oh, you’re going to lose what’s special about you. You’re not going to be interesting any more. There are loads of pretty girls out there’,” she said.
While she was told by one agent that “it’s better to be androgynous than a tranny”, Pejic refused to fall prey to those opinions.
Of being transgender, she said “it is about showing that this is not just a gimmick”.
Pejic was born in Serbia but moved to Australia with her family as a political refugee aged eight, settling in Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s north.
Early in her career, Pejic’s androgynous look meant she was often used by designers to model both men’s and women’s clothes.
She had already modelled women’s clothes and bridal wear as an androgynous model, but the Giles Deacon show in February this year was her first as a fully transitioned woman.
Since her gender-confirmation surgery, Pejic has been open about her life as a transgender woman.
“I want to share my story with the world because I think I have a social responsibility,” she told People last year.
“I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue.”
Pejic has just been signed as the newest face for beauty brand Make Up For Ever, and is thought to be the first transgender model to land a major cosmetics campaign.
And her success is, she hopes, a sign that there is a cultural shift occurring within the industry when it comes to gender identity.
Last month, transgender teen Jazz Jennings, 14, became the new face of skincare brand Clean & Clear’s new See The Real Me campaign.
And last November, Brazilian transgender model Lea T landed a highly-coveted campaign with the American hair-care brand Redken.