For the model born Andrej Pejic, gender -- or more accurately, androgyny -- was very much a key to success. For the model who is now Andreja Pejic, gender has been redefined, reassigned and put on her list of dreams that have become reality.
Pejic, who made headlines in 2011 by rocking both men's and women's high-fashion runways, has just revealed she underwent sex-reassignment surgery earlier this year.
"I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue," the 22-year-old, who now goes by Andreja, told People.
Pejic, who was born in Serbia, raised in Australia and started taking puberty-blocking hormones at a young age, had planned to finish high school as Andrej and then transition. Then came the discovery by a modeling agent at age 17.
As jobs on both male and female runways came in, the transition was put on hold until a self-reevaluation "about a year and a half ago," Pejic said. Notable gigs included walking the Gaultier runway in 2011 in the prestigious bride role and appearing on the cover of Elle at the end of 2012.
"I was proud of my gender-nonconforming career," she told People. "But my biggest dream was to be comfortable in my own body."
"I think we all evolve as we get older and that's normal, but I like to think that my recent transition hasn't made me into a different individual," Pejic said Thursday on her Facebook page. "Same person, no difference at all just a different sex I hope you can all understand that."
She went on: "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 without having to alienate their past."
Pejic declined to discuss certain post-surgical details with People, saying "what's in between anyone's legs is not who they are."