Andreja Pejic was warned she wouldn't be "interesting" when she transitioned.
The 23-year-old model underwent gender reassignment last year, following a lengthy period of time as a male womenswear model and was advised her decision could damage her career.
She said: "There was definitely a lot of 'Oh, you're going to lose what's special about you. You're not going to be interesting anymore. There are loads of pretty girls out there,'
Andreja doesn't regret her decision and insists her career is based on more than just being cast as a novelty.
She added to the new issue of America's Vogue magazine: "It is about showing that this is not just a gimmick."
And the model is thankful that society seems to have seen a shift that allows transgender identity to be part of the mainstream.
She said: "There are just more categories now. It's good. We're finally figuring out that gender and sexuality are more complicated."
Though she has walked the runway for designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott, Andreja prefers photographic work because she finds the catwalk stressful.
She said: "I prefer doing shoots. I get a little stressed with runway. I wasn't given that much training in the beginning. I was just thrown in with the girls, and the designer was like, 'Put these heels on.' "