Podcast: The story behind ABBA's new look with fashion activist B. Åkerlund

By Doris Daga
ABBA style closet looks Top of the Pops 1974

Photo: Getty

In the last few hours before ABBA’s anticipated release of the album Voyage, we spoke to Swedish stylist and costume designer B. Åkerlund, who is the brain behind ABBA's new virtual look

B. Åkerlund is one of the most iconic stylists from the Nordic region. A self-proclaimed ‘fashion activist’ she has worked with the best of the best pop stars around the globe, including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Nicki Minaj. This year, Åkerlund was responsible for the costume design for the awaited new music from ABBA. In this podcast episode, we spoke about the daring feat of designing for one of the world’s greatest stars, upon which B. cooly states, “I love working with icons.”


From using body-doubles in Los Angeles representing the younger version of the ABBAs to designing and scanning metal mesh and Tron jumpsuits, Åkerlund describes the 100 page mood-board of the eternal style of Benny, Björn, Agnetha, and Anni-Frid. Using both newly produced and vintage garments (mainly platform boots), this is a look of the ages, and the future of costume design and touring.

Sustainability is a core value at Vogue Scandinavia, with touring and the fashion themselves being two fields leaving some of the heaviest carbon footprints. ABBA, having always been a revolutionary unit in their field, have taken a sustainable approach to both of these industries. The tour will be static in the new ABBA stadium in London, as well as having all of the garments existing virtually, apart from the original sample, this is the new and improved experience of live music.

B. Åkerlund has always had her finger on the pulse, and there’s no doubt that this is her magnum opus. Two Scandinavian icons collide on this project, and we can’t wait to see what more they have in store.

Listen to episode six of Vogue Scandinavia Sounds with B. Åkerlund: