Last week in Paris, the androgynous male model Andrej Pejic starred in a solo print campaign for Jean Paul Gaultier's new men's fragrance, Kokorico. The ads were photographed by DJ Matthew Stone.
Getting a fragrance campaign with a major fashion house is a sure sign a model's "made it," but even though Pejic will surely continue to land more high-profile editorial and ad jobs in the near future, the jury's still out on what "making it" will look like for him.
Pejic's spent a good part of his still-young career modeling womenswear. Fashion is drawn to provocative and atypical representations of sexuality, and Pejic's long hair, peculiar features, and lithe body made him appear almost uncannily like a female model. In fact, when Pejic posed topless on the cover of Dossier, Barnes & Noble censored the image because the young male model appeared too much like a chest-bearing woman.
Modeling is the one occupation where standard wage inequality is reversed: women earn far more than their male counterparts all across the board. In Pricing Beauty, Ashley Mears notes that while a woman might earn between $100K and $1.5 million for a fragrance campaign, a male model's rate ranges from $30K to $150K.
In an interview with New York Magazine last August, Pejic joked that even though he was modeling for a more lucrative segment of the fashion industry, womenswear, his salary sure wasn't breaking any gender barriers: “I don’t get out of bed for less than $50 a day. I want to make that clear to America. This is a new age of androgynous supermodels. We don’t get out of bed for less than $50 a day.”
Image via WENN.com