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In our line of work, we're used to seeing tall black bearded ladyboy hustlers with long legs, big smiles and a penchant for self-promotion. But even in this hurlyburly rough and tumble world of free booze, those stupid VIP bracelet things that are a bitch to remove and burly doormen, Andre J stood out. His smile was the most radiant, his legs the longest and his ability to sell himself unparalleled. The first time we saw him, he was on a corner in Soho. New York's Amy LaRocca was all up in his shit. That led to his appearance in the Look Book, then the Look Book book. But the last time we saw him, he was working the door at some Save Darfur benefit Lydia Hearst threw and also skipped. Imagine our pleasure when we saw his face in the Sunday Styles and we learned he had made it. It was indescribable!

It was a scorcher, writes Guy Trebay of the day in 2007 that Andre J went out for a sandwich and came back a star.

Andre J. was running out for a sandwich and who should he bump into but Joe McKenna, the stylist who is the secret weapon behind the success of many, many very celebrated designers? Mr. McKenna was on the phone at the time. The person on the other end was Bruce Weber, the celebrated photographer of, among other things, dreamily homoerotic calendar art for Abercrombie & Fitch.When Mr. McKenna spotted Andre J., he immediately put Mr. Weber on hold. Mr. McKenna then called out to Andre J., whom he had met before and had once suggested for a V magazine pictorial photographed by Vinoodh Matadin and Inez van Lamsweerde.

"Andre," said Mr. McKenna, "you look amazing!"

ACTUALLY, he did not say it in quite that way. It happens that the adjective "amazing," pronounced with a bunch of superfluous vowels, is how fashion types, and also certain urban gay men and also one or two tuned-in heterosexual copycats, lately express their approval. Amazing has replaced such locutions as "genius" and "major," which today sound even more old-hat than "fabulous."

"You look amaaaaazing," Mr. McKenna said.

And, of course, Andre J. did.

One thing leads to another Andre J is on the cover of French Vogue, Style gay Guy Trebay falls in love, and plucked from chorus a star is born. Amaaaaaazing!

A Cover Girl Who's Simply Himself [NYT]