"Watching Loreen make history winning Eurovision for the second time, I knew instantly we had to have her on the cover"
Having Loreen on the cover was somewhat inevitable for Vogue Scandinavia. After all, she’s been with us on our journey from the very beginning. Before we had published our very first issue, back when we were just a couple of editors working in the spare room behind a shoe shop, Loreen came to meet with me about my vision for the magazine. We spoke about diversity, body positivity and about beauty at every age. What struck me about Loreen in that conversation is how present she is; when you’re speaking to her, you are distinctly aware that you have all of her focus. It can be quite an intense thing, given what a powerful woman she is. Even in a few moments, you can tell that she is a true original. She went on to contribute a handful of personal essays in those early days, something I am extremely proud of.
Watching Loreen make history winning Eurovision for the second time, I knew instantly we had to have her on the cover. To win once is an extraordinary feat. I recall so vividly watching that first win with ‘Euphoria’ a decade ago. We were crowded around the television in a house on Öland, the neighbour of Gotland, the island Loreen calls home, when it happened, and I was just so happy. Everyone in Sweden was. Eurovision has the ability to unite a country the same way as sports – it transcends age and gender. That Loreen has united all Swedes not once but twice is a magical thing. Naturally we shot her on Gotland – where she goes to recharge her energy – against its instantly recognisable rocky coastline, the earth-toned frocks with flecks of jewels making her one with nature.
We hope you’ll feel inspired by this celebration of Scandinavians past, present and future
It was a big Eurovision year for the Nordics. Also in this issue we have the Finnish artist who claimed second place, fan favourite Käärijä. While Loreen was a returning champion, Käärijä came seemingly from nowhere, capturing the world’s attention with his singular style and phenomenal presence. What he and Loreen have in common is their palpable energy – it’s no surprise they developed a friendship. To see two Nordic countries so full of pride and enthusiasm was something we had to celebrate in this magazine.
This issue in its entirety is a celebration. Take, for instance, the extraordinary celebration of women that comes by way of renowned Swedish artist Lisolette Watkins’ portraits. I’ve been enamoured with Lisolette’s work for years, since she got her start in the fashion world. Currently based in Tuscany, she’s since gone on to become an acclaimed fine artist, showing at galleries internationally. To have her return to fashion portraiture for this series made exclusively for Vogue Scandinavia is something really special. Not only does she capture clothes fabulously, she really captures the essence and power of her subjects, in this case the Italian women she’s inspired by.
Photo: Koto Bolofo
On the fashion side we have a celebration of something that is distinctly Scandinavian: Falu red. As soon as I saw this hue – one that originates from the mines in Falun – this fashion story instantly sprung to my mind. These red-haired women wearing red against the barns of my youth is a fantasy come to life.
Speaking of fantasy, it was another quintessential Swedish fantasy that inspired a huge fashion moment for our region: Max Mara’s Resort show, held at Stockholm City Hall. The collection stemmed from the work of Selma Lagerlöf, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. A century later, her tales are still common reading for Swedish youth. We delve deeper into Lagerlöf’s legacy, drawing inspiration both from her stories and the woman herself.
We also find a modern, more urban tale by way of our accessories story, starring a very charming dog named Lala. Shot and styled by her owners, Simon Nygard and Ilenia Toma, an impossibly cool couple who pitched the idea to me at a Balenciaga party in Paris, the story reminds us of one thing we must never forget in fashion: a sense of humour.
We hope you’ll feel inspired by this celebration of Scandinavians past, present and future. It is the power – or as Loreen would say, energy – of these sorts of individuals that fuels this magazine.