"It’s both beautiful and fascinating to hear Amandla speak of exploring her Nordic heritage"
For many Scandinavians – myself included – it takes time spent abroad to fully appreciate what we have back home. For cover star Amandla Stenberg, however, it was quite the opposite. While we feel like we’ve known Amandla since she was a child (who can forget her heart-wrenching performance as Rue in The Hunger Games), there is a side of her that’s spoken of less frequently. Though she was born and raised in Los Angeles, Amandla is in fact Danish, on her father’s side. It wasn’t until recently, when the actress spent some time in Copenhagen, that she truly understood what it means to be a Dane. It’s both beautiful and fascinating to hear Amandla speak of exploring her Nordic heritage – particularly as she learns more about her Greenlandic Inuit grandmother. Also beautiful: to see her on the cover in that extraordinary Alaïa gown.
Throughout this issue, we see Scandinavian heritage through many different lenses. In an inversion of sorts of Amandla’s story, we find rising Danish stars Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen and Alex Høgh Andersen, who both came up in local projects before finding an international audience (not to mention many, many enthusiastic fans) with breakout television roles. Even though they have both achieved worldwide heartthrob status, often travelling for shoots, they always return to their homes in Copenhagen. Hasse Nielsen captures the handsome guys on the beaches of Copenhagen in a shoot that’s sure to make the internet very happy.
While Amandla’s father diligently (and charmingly) kept Danish traditions alive in their Californian household, Swedish real estate magnate Fredrik Eklund admits that he and his American husband have not been teaching their children Swedish (how would he have the time?!). In this issue, we find the Eklunds in their candy-coloured Californian oasis and learn that even the king of New York and Los Angeles real estate cannot resist the tug of home – he will soon be back judging Sweden’s iteration of Shark Tank, Draknästet (probably my most-watched show).
Looking back over this issue, I can’t help but think of my own experience – namely spending time living and working in New York before moving back to Stockholm to start Vogue Scandinavia
We also feature Danish indie songstress Oh Land, who captured my heart when I saw her performing live at Skall Studio’s most recent runway show in Copenhagen. Here, she speaks of finding her voice and identity while living in New York before moving back to Denmark to start a family. As these enchanting images of Oh Land in her vibrant home prove, she has never once lost her cool.
Meanwhile, in Helsinki, we get to know the Finnish designers putting the unlikely fashion hub on the map. While the extraordinary vision of these emerging talents is immediately evident, it took an international platform, Pitti Uomo, to really get the scene going. In addition to their design prowess, these young brands are setting a new standard when it comes to sustainability and inclusivity. It’s thrilling to see.
Speaking of Scandinavian-Americans, if there is one thing that binds both regions it’s denim. In the Nordics, we are born into jeans – a staple due to its sheer practicality. The denim found on this season’s runways, however, was something entirely different. We love to see a fabric so integral to our wardrobes elevated to artistry, as in our top-to-toe denim fashion story. Last but certainly not least, I simply must mention the jewels and watches present in this issue – red and green stones meticulously fashioned into pieces so out of this world they make my heart skip a beat. Seeing these luxurious creations set against vegetables (we love a nature reference) is as Vogue Scandinavia as it gets.
Looking back over this issue, I can’t help but think of my own experience – namely spending time living and working in New York before moving back to Stockholm to start Vogue Scandinavia. Yes, that New York energy and inspiration undoubtedly kick-started this journey, but at the end of the day, there’s no place like home.
Amandla Stenberg Great Dane – June / July Issue