Designer Profile: B. Åkerlund
B. Akerlund has become a fashion activist and style icon, the epitome of an inspirational and compelling fashion figure. Starting off at a young age, Akerlund was obsessed with clothes and the fashion industry. She wanted to pursue a career in which she could get paid for something she loved to do. Styling was something that she started when she was seventeen years-old, and long before she styled Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Madonna, Akerlund was completing jobs that had no pay and no budget.
Akerlund is admired and recognized for her edgy and distinctive taste while styling celebrities, dressing for herself and running her premiere Los Angeles showroom The Residency. While Akerlund moved from Stockholm to Los Angeles when she was only fourteen, she understood the need to express herself at school and in society. She used her vintage wardrobe to produce this type of expression that introduced the world to B. Akerlund and her exquisite individuality that she is most famous for today. Trends are something that Akerlund disregards completely. She doesn’t agree with playing it safe in the fashion world. Trends will not last forever; Akerlund believes strongly in what will out live the moment, and through these beliefs she continues to promote the effortless yet detailed expression of “I’ll wear what I want, when I want.” At 41 years-old, Akerlund has already left an inspiring trail of foot steps for the stylists and fashion activists behind her to follow.
Where do you find such inspiration for your unique & compelling taste?
BA: I am who I am and find inspiration in everything around me and keep my eyes peeled open.
What were the main steps to get to that point where you were making money for what you loved to do?
BA: To be driven from your heart & instincts and not focus on the money. That comes later, I did countless jobs for free because I was passionate with what I was doing and kept doing it until I could reach my goals.
Has Stockholm influenced your career?
BA: Coming from a small country and having the balls to stand out, definitely gives you a platform and a voice that can be heard. Being that I am Swedish and also call it my home I take the best from both worlds.
What does it mean to you to be a fashion activist?
BA: To keep fighting for what you believe in and remember to stay creative and not get caught up in other people's bullshit. I support and nurture emerging designers and find a huge pleasure in doing so. There are so many creative unknown designers out there that need support to survive and I always work with whom I best see fit the situation, never focus on the brand.
What is the biggest mistake that people make while trying to follow the “system” or the trends of modern day Fashion?
BA: They lose their persona and the system always gets old and played out … I like something that lasts forever and never for the moment.
What piece of advice do you have for the people that are having a hard time finding their calling?
BA: Do what you love. I believe everyone is born with a special something that they are good at, the trick is just finding it. If it doesn’t come natural than probably, it's not your thing, if you love something you will aim to be the best.
Do you find there are certain influences that continually manage to trickle into your style & designs?
BA: I love hard meets soft it's my formula that I tend to gravitate towards.
How have your twin daughters and husband [Jonas Åkerlund] inspired or played a part in your art?
BA: They are my art and inspire me everyday in everything I do, and I do it for them. My husband is a creative genius and my children are a work of art.
What has been the most advantageous job in your career thus far?
BA: Collaborating with Madonna, she gets my blood pumping.
What has been your favorite?
BA: I love what I do and every job is unique to me in its own way, so I don't really have a favorite , all my jobs have a special piece of me.
What is your interpretation of fashion?
What sort of art form do you think fashion is classified as?
BA: I don't think of fashion as a specific art form, for me it's more of a time traveler and a mood thing, as it can take so many directions.
Do you have any words of advice for those scared of rejection in the styling or costume and fashion field?
BA: There is nothing to be scared about either you love it or you don't.