Swedish fashion stylist B. Akerlund is finally on the come up–one that’s been 20 years in the making. She styled four of Beyoncé’s 17 music videos (23 percent) that just dropped as part of Bey’s surprise Friday the 13th album release–including “Pretty Hurts.” She will soon be launching a new, invite-only website for budding fashion designers called Whoyouare.com. And she’s amassed more than 10,000 followers and fans on her Instagram–they regularly tune in to see her post footage from her styling exploits and shots of her adorable, and fashion-forward, twin daughters. In her profile in yesterday’s New York Times, the author describers her look as “part midcareer Shannen Doherty, part Morticia Addams”–a unique style that is clearly visible upon first glance. Akerlund has a lot going for her and just a lot going on in general.
She seems like the kind of woman who’s a nonstop bundle of kinetic (and frenetic) energy–at one point she’s leading an assistant down a hallway on leash, the next she’s on top of a Rolls Royce in downtown Los Angeles. It’s this excitement and color that makes Akerlund’s work so interesting to behold. Before Akerlund’s Beyoncé videos came out, her latest visible success was styling Brit Brit in her comeback video for “Work B*tch”–it’s the star’s most successful video in some time and she looks great.
Next up Akerlund will be focusing on being a “fashion activist” and making her new website the best it can be, but for now, see below for a preview of what’s covered in her NYT piece. Head here for the whole story.
On the “Pretty Hurts” video: “That’s what girls go through to look good, and it’s really sad. I think it’s really strong of someone like Beyoncé to put that on the map, and say this isn’t O.K. and pretty does hurt and it’s not easy to be perfect.”
On making sure her clients look s**y: “I’m the sex police. My job is to make sure whoever I work with is s**y. If they don’t look s**y, then I didn’t do my job.”
On working with new clients: “A lot of the directors that are new that I haven’t worked with, they don’t trust me at the beginning or they think I’m a little much. But I feel like I’ve done enough jobs to know what people react to and what people want to see from me, and why my jobs are my jobs and not like everybody else’s jobs. It’s all in the details. I’m a detail freak.”
Britney Spears on Akerlund: “She is always ahead of the pack, which is why I love working with her. I can’t get the image out of my mind of B. running through the hot desert wearing her big floppy hat and her veil on the set of my ‘Work B**ch’ video. She’s hilarious.”
Ben Mor, “Work B*tch” Director on Akerlund: “When you walk into B.’s wardrobe trailer, it’s like walking into the best costume house in the world. Not even a fraction of it makes it to frame, but what she starts with is — it’s the equivalent of asking a chef to make you a muffin, but in the kitchen there are enough ingredients to make a whole menu.”
Auckerland on working with Beyoncé: It’s not that serious,” she said of her styling work. “At the end of the day, it’s just a music video, or it’s just a photo shoot, or it’s just a movie. It’s not going to change the world.”