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Andrej Pejic wants focus to be on clothes he models, not on him

Published on Oct 18, 2012 5:35 PM
 
With flaxen hair, sculpted cheekbones and alabaster skin, Serbian-Australian model Andrej Pejic is very much in demand - appearing in Vogue, modelling push-up bras and voted one of the world's sexiest women by British FHM readers. --ST PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR

With flaxen hair, sculpted cheekbones and alabaster skin, Serbian-Australian model Andrej Pejic is very much in demand - appearing in Vogue, modelling push-up bras and voted one of the world's sexiest women by British FHM readers.

For those very reasons, the male model has made headlines internationally.

All eyes will no doubt be on the 1.88m-tall gender-bending figure when he walks at the inaugural Digital Fashion Week Singapore, which runs from Saturday until Monday.

But Pejic stresses that his main job here is to showcase and sell the works of the designers rather than court attention and publicity: "My aim is to leave the audience mesmerised by giving them a really good walk and exuding personality on stage. My looks will speak for themselves. The only difference with the other models is that I wasn't born a woman."

The 21-year-old will be strutting the catwalk at five out of the seven shows during Digital Fashion Week Singapore - four for womenswear labels and one for veteran fashion designer Thomas Wee's debut menswear collection.

The shows will be streamed online via DigitalFashionWeek.com and platforms such as Google+ and YouTube. The organisers, a Singapore-based events agency also called Digital Fashion Week, expect seven million viewers from 90 countries.

Despite Pejic's attempts to downplay his gender-bending career, controversy has never been very far away from him.

Last year, men's magazine FHM Britain raised public ire when it insulted Pejic, who ranked No. 98 on its list of sexiest women.

In the United States, his sexy half-clad photo on the May 2011 cover of New York magazine Dossier Journal was deemed too risque for newsstands, with concerns that people would mistake him for a topless woman.

And a brouhaha erupted when Dutch retail chain HEMA used him to promote its new push-up bra last year.

Still, he is upbeat that a change in attitudes is around the corner.

"I've worked in a lot of conservative markets so far and have just returned from Turkey. It's different from the other places I've worked at; it's still a largely Muslim society. But people have accepted me and accepted my story and found it to be interesting. I'm happy to be breaking boundaries like that."

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