Pejic is breaking down barriers left and right

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated February 19, 2016 01:15 PM
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Credit: Michael Stewart/Getty

Andreja Pejic is having quite the year.

In the last 12 months, the transgender model scored a cosmetic contract with Make Up For Ever, stomped the catwalk at London Fashion Week, and (best of all?) joined [CELEBRITY_LINK‘s squad” “” “” “0” ]. But this one might top them all. Pejic landed her first fashion magazine cover as a woman with the March issue of Marie Claire Spain.

Pejic, 24, looks glowing and sultry on the cover, with the line “Romper El Tabé, or “Breaking the Taboo” next to her. Inside the issue, there’s an eight-page photo spread and four-page cover story, with the headline “Fuera De La Crisélida,” or “Out of the Chrysalis.”

She was also named the magazine’s “Model of the Year,” which counts Irina Shayk, Gemma Ward among its past winners.

“Receiving the ‘Model Of The Year’ award from Marie Claire Spain with previous title-holders – which include some of my favorite models like Saskia, Anja, Arizona, Gemma and Linda – I mean, need I really explain!?” Pejic tells PEOPLE. “It feels beyond to have my name follow and gives me hope in showing that girls like us are girls that are just as good!”

Pejic, who initially stunned as an androgynous model back in 2011, underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2014.

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She spoke to PEOPLE at the time about making the physical transition to female.

“I was happy the moment had come – as happy as you can be before a surgery,” she said. “It was about three months before I felt like myself again.”

But she soon adjusted to her changed body.

“Every day is like a new revelation,” she said. “I’m more comfortable than ever. I feel at a 100 percent.”