Every year, the World of WearableArt (WOW) draws the most creative and visionary competitors all hoping to catch the judge’s eye. This year, the judging panel is joined by Los Angeles-based fashion activist and celebrity stylist B. Åkerlund, who will also present the inaugural The Residency Experience Award.
We spoke to B. Åkerlund about the upcoming WOW awards, her work as a fashion activist and advice for those wishing to pursue a carer in fashion styling.
How did the partnership with WOW and your Hollywood PR showroom, the Residency Experience, come about?
My passion has always been to support emerging designers. By presenting this award, Kent Belden and I, feel that it is important to provide a new, young, talented designer that might not otherwise have the chance to showcase their collection in a premiere Hollywood showroom, the visibility to various publications, stylists & celebrities.
What are you hoping to see from the winner of your WOW Residency Experience Award?
A designer that is willing to take risks while understanding the wearability of a garment AND that blows my socks off.
WOW gives designers the opportunity to be innovative, original and push the boundaries of creativity. Can you describe how this aligns with your own ethos or aesthetic?
Innovation, originality and pushing the boundaries of creativity are all the things I stand for, and why I am excited to join the WOW team. I hope to discover some new, amazing talent for future projects.
You describe yourself as being a fashion activist. What does this mean to you?
To keep fashion alive by not turning mainstream and boring – keep pushing boundaries and supporting emerging talent.
Fashion and art; are they two different things or two versions of the same thing?
For me, they are the same. They both tell a story and are interchangable – you can turn fashion into art & art into fashion.
You have styled for Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Britney, to name a few. Who has been your favourite performer to work with and why?
I like them all for different reasons. They are all top of their game and come with different challenges which I like. But my longest relationship is with Madonna and she will forever be my queen.
Do you have an outfit that remains your favourite?
It would have to be Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime look designed by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy.
You collab a lot with your husband, Jonas Åkerlund. Do you bring work home? How do you achieve a work/life balance?
We both love what we do so it’s only natural that we discuss work at home and throw ideas around. I must say I think we have a great balance juggling the two and still enjoying life when time permits.
Can you talk a little bit about your background in fashion and how you ultimately became a stylist?
I didn’t choose to become a stylist, I was born into it, and it fell into my lap early on. Fashion is a deep passion of mine that started when I was a teenager and escalated from there. With no education, I took the hard and long road by following my gut, working hard, and staying dedicated to my craft.
What’s your best advice for someone looking to get into styling?
Find your strengths, set goals, follow your dreams, and most importantly, pay your dues.
Where can we follow you?
What don’t you leave the house without?
My red lipstick.
The World of WearableArt is on 26 September – 13 October. Get your tickets here.
All images courtesy of the World of WearableArt.