Bosnian-Australian Andreja Pejic has made history as the first transgender model to lead a Bonds lingerie campaign.
Born in Tuzla before emigrating to Australia with her mother in 2000, Pejic describes her career as ‘interesting’ and ‘lucky’.
Before landing this lead modeling role with Bonds, Pejic, 27, modeled for labels like Jean Paul Gaultier to Marc Jacobs. She’s also appeared on the covers of magazines like GQ and Vogue, making history with both.
‘The fashion industry was starting to get a bit stale and boring — they had the “perfect” ideal of a man and woman — but it is changing,’ she told news.com.au.
With jobs like the face of a lingerie campaign, Pejic noted the fashion industry is changing now.
‘The industry has shifted massively. When I started about six years ago it was completely different,’ she continued. ‘They’re beginning to look underneath the package.’
Fashion reflecting real women
Pejic is joined by Victoria’s Secret model Maia Cotton, diversity advocate Shanaya Peters, and more in Bonds’ Intimates campaign.
According to Bonds marketing manager Emily Small, comprising their campaign of diverse women was a conscious decision.
‘Bonds is for every Australian woman,’ she said. ‘We think it’s important to challenge what we see in the media with a more authentic reflection of beauty and hope to grow people’s visual vocabulary.’
Pejic said the campaign is ‘beautiful’ and reflects evolution.
She said of it: ‘Australia likes a more commercial beachy girl and I was just never going to fit into that commercial context so I think this shows times have changed for a company like this to hire me and give me this opportunity.’
Being comfortable with yourself
Pejic publicly came out as a trans woman in 2014.
She underwent gender confirmation surgery and posted a message on Facebook. ‘As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter,’ she wrote at the time.
She has gone on to publicly advocate for transgender representation in the fashion industry.
In 2018, she made her movie debut in The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
‘It took a really long time to accept myself and be comfortable with what I saw in the mirror,’ she further told news.com.au. While she acknowledged being a model doesn’t ‘fix’ that, she became stronger and took the time to accept herself.