'I’m grateful that I can say I’m surrounded by a team that truly values what I bring to the table.'
Words – Olivia Bahou
From the editors of Instyle US
Celebrities have been campaigning for a fashion industry overhaul, with A-listers like Chrissy Teigen fighting for diversity on the catwalk.
Now, Andreja Pejic is breaking down barriers in the industry, one career move at a time. The 26-year-old just became the first openly transgender model to sign with Ford, and it’s incredibly meaningful to the war refugee from former Yugoslavia.
‘Ford is the oldest modelling agency and has such an incredible heritage. On a personal level, three years ago, I was dropped by a modelling agency after I came out publicly as transgender.
‘It feels good to go from not even knowing if I would have a future in the modelling business to joining forces with one of the biggest names in the industry, and following in the footsteps of Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, Alek Wek—the list goes on and on.’ Pejic told Forbes.
‘A lot of people when they look at the whole trans thing, they think, oh you’re transgender and in the fashion industry, which is very pro-LGBT, so you don’t have any problems because it’s a progressive place. But that’s not the reality,’ she continued.
‘Just because someone is gay or in the LGBT world doesn’t mean they understand our experiences, so I’ve had to deal with breaking down some barriers and really prove that we’re worthy of the same respect as other women.’
Pejic herself announced the history-making news with an Instagram post. ‘I’m grateful that I can say I’m surrounded by a team that truly values what I bring to the table,’ she wrote.
We can’t wait to see Pejic continue to break barriers throughout her career.