Text: Shah Salimat (xin.msn.com)
Andrej Pejic is not what you would call a “typical” model. Guess what? He loves being undefinable. In a career where the androgynous model has walked for Yves Saint Laurent’s womenswear and Marc Jacobs’ menswear lines, Andrej has carved a niche for himself as one of the few male models to have broken into mainstream modeling consciousness and the hearts of many a stylista.
In an interview with xinmsn at the Digital Fashion Week Singapore press conference on October 17, the 21-year-old model explained the freedom he gets with straddling both areas of modeling: “It’s just a part of the freedom that every person should feel. If you’re in the public image, people want to typecast you. I make it very hard for them to do that. My identity is more than just my look.
Andrej admitted his interest in economics and politics, but was lured into fashion after being scouted at McDonalds. “I was 17 and wanted to make money and travel the world. As long as I can share my story and give a human face, that would help. People can be very ignorant about these issues.
Andrej has walked for international Digital Fashion Week Singapore designers like Eugene Lin, Thomas Wee and Guo Pei at its event at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Tent from October 20-22. The fashion event was livestreamed on YouTube, with Google+ hangouts with the designers immediately after the shows.
When asked by this reporter as to how he was going to further his career with the notoriously short career lifespan models have, Andrej showed his keen business sense. “What I’m doing now is transforming my look to something longer. I think I’ve done well in communicating my personality to media. If an agent wants to look at my career, they would look at me as a female model because male models don’t reach certain levels into the mainstream world. I think I’ve done that.”
“If I have the opportunity to become a celebrity, it would be foolish of me to reject it. It would just offer me a bigger platform for me to tell my story. You’re selling out as a model or celebrity anyway because brands are using you. You become more of yourself as a celebrity because it’s not just about the look anymore. Right now, I feel like I’m in between being a model and being a celebrity, but I’m definitely more known than the average model these days,” said Andrej.
Here’s a fun fact: besides responding to fan tweets, Andrej Googles himself. He explained, “In the beginning, I wouldn’t read anything because it might affect me. Once you build up an armour and realize it’s just a business, you’re used to what people have to say.” He kicked back a chortle but one can tell Andrej does not give a hoot about what others say about his look or personality.