Kevin Murphy on working with Andreja Pejic

Initially posted in 2011

“Beauty is beauty. No matter who is wearing it.” -Kevin Murphy

“In May 2011, Andrej’s magazine cover for the New York-based magazine Dossier Journal – in which he is pictured taking off his shirt with his long blond locks in curlers – was ruled too risque by US bookstores Barnes & Noble and Borders, which covered the image with an opaque sleeve. Concerns were expressed that customers would mistake him for a topless woman.” – Theage.com.au

Why do you think people are so drawn to Andrej?
I think the androgynous thing is the last unexplored taboo in the last twenty years. When I was young it was all the rage for men to have long hair, wear makeup… there was the unisex movement and glam rock. Now it seems the divide between men and women has widened with the advent of the metro sexual. Andrej is a very unique person – he is one of a kind, he does not try and be feminine he just has the face and skin of a beautiful woman . That is very compelling. Because he is himself, he has never tried to be anybody but himself and that come through in his pictures.

When did you first see him [model], when were you first able to work with him?
I can’t remember, but he has been around for a few years – maybe 3 or 4 years.

In your approach to working with him, where do you start with that? (i.e. – the clothing, male vs. female look, etc. I assume the approach closely resembles any other shoot you do…..?)
In the shoot I took my reference to a band called Cheap Trick. The lead singer to that band (like many new wave bands of the late seventies and early eighties) always had pretty singers that were male and lots of the time they were sort of wearing women’s clothes, or looked like they were – and they wore makeup. I wanted to do this with Andrej make him look like he was in a band and show that he is a beautiful man.

And how does the androgyny change your approach?
It does not change my approach at all. Beauty is beauty no matter who is wearing it.

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