B. Who You Are – Q&A with Fashion Activist and Designer Bea Åkerlund

FFD talks to Bea Åkerlund, fashion activist and designer behind OMEDELBAR, the latest collaboration with Swedish furniture giant IKEA.

There are few stylists that can say that they gifted the world with some of the most iconic celebrity looks of the 21st Century, but Bea Akerlund is certainly one of them. From Lady Gaga's Paparazzi to Madonna's Superbowl all the way to THAT yellow Roberto Cavalli in Beyonce's Lemonade, it's hard to not have spotted her work across Hollywood. Now she's turning her creative hand to something equally as iconic - a homeware collection for [IKEA.](http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/collections/omedelbar/?cid=iba|gb|omedelbar|201802221139435493_1) 


If you don’t know, now you know, Bea Akerlund could possibly be one of the most famous stylists you never quite knew. With the new IKEA collection OMEDELBAR, Bea created 34 unique pieces around her personal style and signature message to “B WHO YOU ARE.” Featuring her signature Ruby Woo lips, gothic glamour and a touch of Tim Burton marrying Alice in Wonderland, the collection was made by Bea but created to fit you.

We wanted to get the lowdown on the new collection and the fashion activist herself and yes, she’s just as cool as you think she is.


You have creativity coming from your every pore, what led you to styling?

My obsession with clothing and fashion, it was what drove me into styling and making it my profession.

What was your first "big break”?

When I starting working with my husband Jonas Åkerlund he opened up a whole new world of creativity for me, where I could flex my wings and do what I do best .

(FYI – Ad directed by Hubby, Jonas Åkerlund)

Do you have a life motto / mantra?


We hear that sister! What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up at 7:30 every morning, then drive my kids to school and arrive at my office by 9am where I start my work day.
Then I go home and eat dinner at 6:30pm, spend quality time with my family, and then work some more until I pass out!


Your new collection with IKEA is quintessentially you, was it hard to narrow down what kind of pieces you wanted to include?

Yes it was hard as I always over deliver, but once I started to weed things out, the final pieces felt like the right choice for the collection.

How did you find collaborating with a brand rather than a performer?

I enjoy designing very much and something I aim to do more of in the future, working with IKEA has been a great experience and proved that I can be commercial and not have to cater to just one person.

A woman after my own heart, it’s clear you are inspired by all things spooky. What are some other big inspirations for you?

There are many sides to me, the dark side and the fun, crazy side so I try to mix things up to not take life too seriously and get inspired by all things around me.


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Styling some of the biggest female powerhouses – Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Madonna to name a few – must come with its pressures, do you prefer working with big personalities?

Absolutely, they know what they want and are all strong independent women, and I like that as well as the challenge .

What’s the biggest misconception about what you do?

That it’s easy & fabulous…

If you weren’t designing and styling, what do you think you would be doing?

Definitely something creative, without creativity I feel lost. I’d like to explore photography at some point in my life.


Any advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?

Listen to your gut and follow your dream, if it doesn’t come easy it’s probably not meant to be.

If you would like to see how Forever Yours Betty styled her pieces from the OMEDELBAR collection, check out her latest post or shop the full collection from IKEA now.

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