February 2012: Letter from the editor
This month, we have devoted 16 pages to the extraordinary Bosnian-born Australian model Andrej Pejic, but there is still so much more to say. Pejic is a man who dresses like a woman—sometimes. However, he is not a cross-dresser in the way that some men dip into their wives’ panty drawers for a thrill. He is not a drag queen, like RuPaul, who routinely took three hours to transform from freckled Southern gentleman to seven-foot-tall glamazon in size 13 pumps. And he doesn’t like to say whether, like Chaz Bono, he is on his way to the other side.
So who is he?
For starters, Pejic is a blond bombshell whether he is walking a woman’s runway or a man’s. “His ability to bring the clothes to life out-supers the supermodels,” remarks our fashion director, Susie Sheffman, who accompanied stylist George Antonopoulos to FASHION’s cover shoot. “He moves with such grace and he has a dancer’s awareness of every muscle, nerve and fibre. He creates these long lines with his body that you don’t normally get from a male model. So you want to think he’s a woman, but he has the strength of a man, with a very masculine jawline.”
Both Sheffman and features editor Rani Sheen, who interviewed Pejic for “Boy Meets Girl” (page 92) agree Pejic is not deliberately provocative or attention-seeking. He just is what he is: a beautiful being who blurs gender lines. “He defies judgment, which is what makes him so modern,” says Sheffman. “He’s modelling outside the box.”
And living outside the box, which some might find hard to deal with. In fact, Pejic was rejected by most of the modelling agencies he saw because they didn’t know whether to put him in their women’s division or men’s. But I would hope that in this age of same-sex marriage, gay characters on Glee, and Ellen DeGeneres as a Cover Girl spokesmodel, the world is ready to accept Pejic with all the love and humanity he deserves.
Speaking of love, there are seven beauty products that you are so crazy about, we created a Beauty Hall of Fame to pay special tribute to them. Find out which products made the cut in FASHION’s Annual Readers’ Choice Beauty Awards (page 61), along with the rest of your best beauty buys.
Here at FASHION, we all realize that putting a man on the cover of a women’s magazine might spark some discussion. We look forward to hearing from you at [email protected].