“Every day was like my runway, every day a new character. So I’d theme-dress, and that was my weapon. It was my weapon to communicate to the world who I was.”
From as early as Bea can remember, fashion and styling have come second nature – even when she didn’t realise it. Originally from Stockholm, Bea Åkerlund moved to L.A at age 14. Describing herself as a club kid at the time, she wasn’t sure what she’d discover about herself.
But like one magnet always finds another, her innate sense of fashion led to attracting the right people, at the right time. There was no stopping it. Working with a community of successful directors and influential individuals laid the groundwork for her future as one of the world’s most known costume designers and stylists in the realm of film, fashion, and music.
I view the world as my playground, and I’ve always lived by staying true to who I am.
“It all kind of blossomed from there. It was never anything I studied; it was always in me. It was my art.”
Being a self-made fashionista takes hard work. Today Bea has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry: Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna are just a few. She’s known for her unique sense of style, her compassion for individualism, and her guts to step into a bold vision while marrying it with each artist’s personal characteristics.
“I view the world as my playground, and I’ve always lived by staying true to who I am.”
“It’s a collection for the people: a Bea – IKEA mash up. I wanted it to be fun, relatable and accessible to everyone.”
Fashion activist, Bea Åkerlund and IKEA have created OMEDELBAR: a limited edition collection that captures the essence of Bea’s style and esthetic. While still being IKEA of course, OMEDELBAR is a chance to step into something new: the feeling of an exclusive Hollywood showroom where goth and glam meet each other. Large glass hats, red lip-shaped pillows, 3D printed hands for decorative jewelry display, and a B-shaped lamp – are just a few of the OMEDELBAR ingredients – all items that represent Bea.
“It’s a collection that allows for not taking life so seriously. I want people to have a little fun in their lives. You can get one hand and put it on the wall, or 100 hands and turn it into a piece of art. Buy one lip pillow, or buy 20 to create a lip pillow ocean. Fill the hat with anything: from apples to your collection of buttons, to your bathroom essentials. It’s really all up to you.”
‘BWHO YOU ARE’ is about embracing yourself, no matter what the world thinks of you. It’s about individuality and creativity – two important cornerstones to OMEDELBAR.
Her signature stamp, red lipstick, and personal mantra: ‘BWHO YOU ARE’, serve as initial sources of inspiration for the collection. You will never see Bea not wearing red lipstick.
“I’m even wearing it to bed at times. ‘BWHO YOU ARE’ is about embracing yourself, no matter what the world thinks of you. It’s about individuality and creativity – two important cornerstones to OMEDELBAR.”
Bea wanted to branch out to the masses with IKEA, and include people in her world of design – one that is accessible and affordable, whereas a lot of her extravagant creations are very niche and one of a kind. “Overall, it’s been a great experience – a collaborative dream. I’d describe it as seamless: we bounced ideas, met in the middle, and found a good flow. It’s been an inspiration seeing the vision of OMEDELBAR come to life.”
Put together the collection creates one story: chapters of Bea’s esthetic, style and personality.”It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone – take a chance and dare to not follow the rules.”
Bea will be at Democratic Design Day, on the 7th of June in Älmhult, where you can hear all about the collection and collaboration with IKEA! Estimated sale start for OMEDELBAR collection is March 2018.
Fast facts about Bea Åkerlund:
Three things she can’t live without: My red lipstick, yoga, and my cat. Yoga is the one thing that keeps me really balanced.
Her pet peeve: I like communication. When people don’t communicate with me – it just drives me crazy. And people who don’t listen.
If she could meet anyone, dead or alive: I always wanted to meet and work with Grace Jones. She’s a huge inspiration of creativity for me.
Style is: To me, it’s a feeling. You can usually tell how I’m feeling by my outfit. Style is how I navigate through life.