“Fashion should represent society, and today, society is more inclusive": Lovisa Josefsson is a model activist

By Jennifer Nilsson
Lovisa Josefsson

Photo: Marcus Ohlsson

“What if someone that isn’t disabled gets inspired by me? By the clothes I’m wearing or the fact that I dared to do this. That would be huge.” Lovisa Josefsson knows fashion can make a difference, if only it’s willing to try. On the occasion of her very first photoshoot – for Vogue, no less – the aspiring model sets out to make a change simply by putting herself out there

Lovisa Josefsson believes fashion can allow all people to be seen. She also believes that it can make being different easier. The 18-year-old aspiring model from Gävle, Sweden, has taken these powerful notions into her own hands, turning to her social media channels to express herself.


“Being part of Vogue Scandinavia means everything to me,” Josefsson says as we sit down to celebrate her very first professional photoshoot with burgers and fries. Despite professing to be shy, she can’t seem to stop smiling. “What if someone that isn’t disabled gets inspired by me? By the clothes I’m wearing or the fact that I dared to do this. That would be huge.”

What if someone that isn’t disabled gets inspired by me? By the clothes I’m wearing or the fact that I dared to do this. That would be huge

The fashion industry has come under scrutiny for its lack of inclusivity, particularly on runways and the pages of magazines. In recent years, however, we’ve seen a long-overdue evolution, particularly in terms of racial diversity and size inclusivity. Last year there was another groundbreaking moment, when model Aaron Rose Philip made her runway debut for Moschino, signalling that disabled people have a place in fashion as well.

Though she’s a strong individual, eager to speak her mind, Josefsson is most comfortable doing so through writing. “My message is that everyone should love themselves and that we should all dare to open up and laugh at ourselves,” she says. “That would make the world a kinder place.” Josefsson tries to live by her own message through her social media platforms, aspiring to showcase her true self on her Instagram and TikTok channels.

Lovisa Josefsson

Bomber jacket, €4,500. Louis Vuitton. Photo: Marcus Ohlsson

Lovisa Josefsson

Leather jacket, €570. Stand Studio. Rib knitted dress, €300. By Malene Birger. Glasses, Lovisa’s own. Silver necklace, €1,434. Nathalie Schuterman. Boots, Lovisa’s own. Photo: Marcus Ohlsson

She shares videos of herself to TikTok listening to her favourite artist, Ariana Grande, or posting dance videos with captions such as, “I can’t dance, but I’m not afraid to laugh at myself”. Despite never having modelled before, she handled her first Vogue photoshoot with ease. Josefsson gazed at the garments with admiration, her reverence for fashion on full display.

When asked about representation in the Nordic fashion scene, she is quick to answer: “Fashion should represent society, and today, society is more inclusive, meaning the fashion industry should be more inclusive as well.” For Josefsson’s Vogue debut, we turned to celebrated Swedish photographer Marcus Ohlsson, who, in addition to shooting editorially for Vogue Scandinavia, has shot for Vogue’s Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand editions.

Lovisa Josefsson

Mongolian fur coat, €408. PelloBello. Photo: Marcus Ohlsson

Lovisa Josefsson

Faux leather jacket, €370. Stand Studio. Turtleneck with zip, €119. Samsøe Samsøe. Silver ring, €650. Efva Attling. Photo: Marcus Ohlsson

Ohlsson began taking pictures in his youth, shooting his friends while they were skateboarding. The photographer feels excited about fashion’s shift towards inclusivity. “I think this change is a good one, both as an ideal and because it’s nice shooting different intriguing characters,” Ohlsson says. “Fun to see more of a variation when it comes to models.”

Meanwhile, Josefsson believes that initiatives like #MyVogueScandinavia are important. “It gives anyone a chance to be seen,” she says. “By showcasing different types of people, being different will become easier. And if Vogue Scandinavia dares to make a difference, then others will as well.” The young advocate shares messages on her social media where she encourages people to follow their dreams, with captions such as, “Never give up, work hard toward your goals. You’re the only one that can accomplish them. I’m always here.”

Although representation within the world of fashion has improved these last couple of years, we still have a long way to go as an industry. Josefsson is one of many refreshing voices guiding us towards more inclusivity, and it is up to all of us to stop and listen.

Photographer: Marcus Ohlsson
Stylist: Tereza Ortiz
Hair & Make up: Jeanette Törnqvist
Talent: Lovisa Sörqvist
Photographer Assistant: Filip Hanning
Stylist Assistant: Rebecka Thorén