Gender-bending model pushes limits of the runway

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At 6-feet-1, he’s rail-thin, a women’s size 2 or 4. His shoe size is the most problematic. Technically a women’s size 11, he’s forced to squeeze his feet into a size 10 to walk in women’s shows.

Gene Hogan, a representative at DNA models, the agency representing Pejic in the U.S., says dozens of calls pour in every week touting a slew of hot new androgynous models: “They say, `Oh, you’ve got to see this guy! He’s the black Andrej Pejic!’”

For Pejic, every fashion season brings a new surge of headlines and opportunities, including talks of a fragrance line or a possible reality TV show. With New York Fashion Week _ when designers debut their fall collections _ beginning Thursday, it’s unclear which shows he will walk in _ if any at all.

With the frenzy of media attention over the past year, industry insiders say Pejic runs the risk of overexposure. Given his very niche look, Pejic’s ability to stay relevant may become difficult. And as his star rises, it’s possible designers could hesitate to book him, fearing his persona may overshadow the clothes.

Pejic is all too aware of the fickle nature of the fashion business. He plans to attend college eventually, having deferred his acceptance to a university in Australia. If fashion doesn’t work out, he’d like to go back to school and major in economics or law.

Although open to discussing almost anything, Pejic remains secretive about his sexual orientation. When asked whether he prefers men or women, he coyly smiles.

“Love has no boundaries,” he says.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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