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Fashion model straddles gender divide

Andrej Pejic speaks to CityNews during Toronto's Fashion Week. CITYNEWS.

One of the most in-demand models of women’s clothing isn’t a woman.

“Gender doesn’t make me who I am,” Bosnia-born and Australia-raised Andrej Pejic told CityNews during Toronto’s Fashion Week.

“I think there’s always been male and female, and there’s always been in-between. It’s just that the in-between doesn’t have a place.

“If gender wasn’t so important, if it didn’t affect the way people treated you, or the opportunities you have in life, like nationality didn’t or anything else, it wouldn’t be such a big deal, that in-between,” he said.

New York Magazine described Pejic as the “prettiest boy in the world.” The model has been booked for some of the most prestigious gigs in the fashion industry, posing for French Vogue and walking the catwalk for fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier in both the men’s and women’s collections. He also strutted his stuff for the Canadian label Pink Tartan during Toronto’s Fashion Week last week.

Dressing in women’s or men’s clothes doesn’t matter to Pejic.

“For me, I don’t put on costumes. However, if I were extremely muscled and hairy, I probably wouldn’t feel very comfortable with myself. I’m quite lucky that how I feel inside pretty much matches what I look like. There are a lot of people who don’t get that luxury,” he said.

“One of the flaws of the society is we like to define someone on their race or on their gender or on their appearance — all things that really aren’t the biggest part of a person’s whole being.

“I don’t get offended by being called ‘her.’ I don’t get offended by being called ‘him.’ But usually, for consistency, they use ‘he.’”