Andreja Pejic made headlines as an androgynous male model. Now she’s back — as a woman – Clare Press

LET me take you back in time. It’s New Year’s Eve 2007 and Joseph Tenni, a Sydney-based modelling agent with Chadwick, is out for the night in Melbourne. He ducks by McDonald’s on Swanston Street for a bite and spots a grey-eyed beauty doling out burgers and fries, with what looks like a lot of long blonde hair shoved up beneath the regulation Macca’s cap.

“It was the bone structure that got me,” says Tenni. “And this undeniable presence, which you don’t see much, especially out in the wild. Everyone noticed it — women, men, children. It was powerful.”

Andrej Pejić (pronounced ‘pay-itch’) was a 16-year-old kid from Broadmeadows, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, tall and willowy at 1.85m, with a tiny waist and racehorse limbs — not that you could really tell in those baggy clothes.

Tenni gave Pejić a Chadwick card and suggested a meeting at the agency. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to make you a star!’” says Tenni. “But I knew there was the makings of a great model standing in front of me.”