She became one of Australia’s most powerful and in-demand models, blazing a trail for the transgender movement in the fashion industry.
But life for Andreja Pejic looks very different these days.
The Bosnian-born model, who grew up in the outer Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows, is all but absent from the world of high fashion she once dominated, living a life far removed from her glamorous past.
The 31-year-old, who now calls Los Angeles home, has replaced her blonde locks with a long, dark shaggy style and has rarely been seen walking red carpets or runways since stepping out of the public eye in 2019.
Andreja Pejic seen here on the red carpet for her film debut The Girl In The Spiders Web in 2018 shortly after stepping away from the modeling world
With darker hair and dressed down in an Adidas tracksuit, Pejic posted these latest photos three weeks ago from his apartment in LA
Instead, the former fashion superstar, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2013, is quietly hitting the audition scene and has starred in a number of small, independent films, including the 2022 thriller The Other Me and the 2021 comedy Habit opposite Bella Thorne.
More recently, Pejic appeared briefly in the Salvador Dali biopic Daliland, which premiered this month at the Toronto International Film Festical (TIFF) and stars British acting legend Sir Ben Kingsley.
The film has received mixed reviews from critics, with Variety noting Pejic’s performance as ‘(Dali’s) paramour…Amanda (Pejic) a transgender beauty with a husky-sounding voice’.
Pejic to play ‘Amanda’ in new Salvador Dali biopic – a character based on Dali’s real-life transgender muse
Far from the bright lights of the fashion world, Pejic seems to live a very different life and often posts pictures of her stripped-down style
The role marks Pejic’s biggest foray into the big screen since switching to acting in 2019 with her film debut The Girl In The Spiders Web.
Off camera, the history-making model, who became the first openly transgender model profiled by Vogue in 2015, has become increasingly vocal about a range of issues on her social media platforms.
Pejic regularly updates fans with long and sometimes abstract monologues, talking about everything from the war in Ukraine and Covid-19 theories, as well as frequent pledges of support for transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
In a video in which a disheveled Pejic appears wide-eyed in heavy make-up, the former model lashes out at what she identifies as ‘the capitalist elite’ and warns of a coming ‘revolution’.
“There’s a storm coming… and it’s not a goddess, magical spiritual wave… it’s not QAnon it’s the storm of revolution, it’s the masses in revolt,” she says directly to the camera.
‘It will bring the capitalist elite and their upper middle class servants to their knees.
‘And they will stop looking at their stupid horoscopes and stupid stock prices and they will have a lot to answer for.’
In one of the many monologues posted on her Instagram account, Pejic speaks out against the ‘capitalist elite’ and warns of an upcoming ‘revolution’
Pejic pictured here in 2019, appearing on the red carpet at a gala held at the National Gallery of Victoria
Pejic identified herself as a ‘socialist-minded artist’ and gave her last notable interview back in 2019 when she spoke to the World Socialist Website (WSWS.org) and discussed at length the Australian government’s treatment of Assange.
In a lengthy and sometimes animated sit-down, Pejic accused the Liberal government of deliberately failing to protect Assange, describing the situation as an ‘internationally organized witch hunt’.
“I think Labor should mount a real resistance to the government’s failure to protect Australia’s greatest anti-war journalist from political persecution,” she said.
Pejic made a rare return to the red carpet this month to promote Daliland at the Toronto International Film Festival
At the height of her modeling fame, Pejic landed a number of major contracts, including one with Australian underwear giant Bonds
‘It should admit its past failure and work to expose this problem to the largest audience so that a movement can be built to stop extradition.’
Prior to that, Pejic’s last major appearance on the world modeling stage was on the cover of GQ Magazine in 2017 – making her the first ever transgender model to do so.
The previous year, she also became one of the first trans models to secure a cosmetics contract, inking a deal with the Make Up For Ever beauty line.
Pejic slays the 2011 runway for Jean Paul Gaultier during Paris Fashion Week
At the height of her career, Pejic – who was scouted in 2009 while working at McDonalds in Melbourne – appeared on the covers of international editions of Elle, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and L’Officel.
She was also once ranked number 98 on FHM’s list of 100 Hottest Women in the World.
Pejic was often photographed partying with Australian model Jordan Barrett and was also friends with British model Stella Maxwell and her then-girlfriend actress Kristen Stewart.
The Bosnian-born model became one of the first transgender models to secure a cosmetics contract, inking a deal with beauty line Make Up For Ever