By Malene Birger brought Hydra Book Club to Stockholm: See all the snapshots

By Clare McInerney

Photo: By Malene Birger

By Malene Birger's Stockholm flagship was transformed into an enclave of books, discussion and traditional Mediterranean treats last weekend – get the lowdown and see all the snapshots here

The Greek island of Hydra is one of Europe's lesser-known cultural hotspots. For nearly a century, the car-less locale in the Aegean Sea has been home to many artists, writers and thinkers – many of whom regularly gather as members of the literary community that is Hydra Book Club. One of the members is legendary Polish model and Hydra resident Malgosia Bela – who stars in By Malene Birger's spring/summer '24 campaign.


“As a friend of the brand, I was already enthusiastic to work with [stylist and creative director] Suzanne [Koller], whom I respect and adore,” Bela says in a letter penned for the campaign. “Then I found out the location for our shoot was to be at Hydra, a Greek island that I consider my second home,” she goes on. “My enthusiasm tripled when I discovered that the day of the shoot coincided with the launch of my magnum opus, Winter Girl at the Hydra Book Club.”

On Saturday night, all of these elements culminated in a celebration at the brand's Stockholm flagship store, which hosted a takeover from Hydra Book Club with Bela in attendance, signing copies of her book for assembled guests.

Josh Hickey, an art curator and the founder of the Hydra Book Club, was also in attendance. For the special partnership with By Malene Birger, Hickey has curated a reading list of nine books written by important artists who have lived or worked on the island, including Leonard Cohen, Deborah Levy, and Rachel Cusk. Distilling life on the island through words and images, the nine books will be shared via social media and available to purchase at the brand's stores.

Photo: By Malene Birger

Photo: By Malene Birger

Malgosia Bela signs copies of 'Winter Girl', her newly-released book at By Malene Birger's Hydra Book Club takeover. Photo: By Malene Birger

One of the titles is Winter Girl, Bela’s own book that compiles over 100 evocative images from her 25-year modelling career. Published by Bela’s close friend Filip Niedenthal (previously editor in chief of *Vogue Poland now founder of publishing house 77 Press), the book details her unique relationships with renowned industry figures and captures anecdotes behind some of the most remarkable fashion photographs of the modern era.

One anecdote worthy of publishing is her experience shooting for By Malene Birger at Hydra. “‘Your call time is 4am. Give me your address for car pick-up’, my New York agent texted the night before, not realising that there are no cars on the island and the only mode of transportation is taking a donkey or walking,” Bela recounts. “Which paradoxically makes everything much faster. And so, as the sun rose, we started wandering from one shoot location to the next. We were finished by noon.

Bela, dressed in By Malene Birger’s ‘Akira’ maxi dress, ‘Masey’ mules and ‘Sandras’ shearling coat, was described by the brand’s CEO Ellen Dixdotter as the ideal face to front the spring/summer ’24 campaign, as an identity who “epitomises the collection’s relaxed and effortless mood,” she says. “It was a pleasure to welcome her to Stockholm to hear more about her incredible career and her unique connection with Hydra,” she adds.

See all the snapshots from the event below.