If Lady Gaga called us up and asked us to style her, we'd fall on our face in hysterics and then reply with an enthusiastic yet collected "OMG, YES." But when she offered stylist B. Åkerlund the job, she said no. Åkerlund was taking some time off to have twins in Sweden and chose her babies over Gaga. But Gaga persisted, calling Åkerlund for every video she did. Åkerlund continued choosing babies. Finally, Gaga contacted Åkerlund's husband, Jonas, about directing the epic "Paparazzi" video. He asked his wife, “Should we do Gaga?” And by that time, she was ready. Åkerlund tells Anthem that it's unclear how Gaga knew about her.
I have no idea. She just said she knew. I asked her, “How do you know that we’re so perfect for each other?” and she said, “I just know.” She’s like a sister that I never had.
Åkerlund is Gaga's first official stylist. Before she came on, Gaga worked with a creative director named Matthew Williams. They collaborated on the apparel (for lack of a better term) she's made for herself, under the label she calls "Haus of Gaga." Sometimes she still makes her own pieces. Åkerlund explains:
She’s definitely a very strongly opinionated artist. She knows exactly what she wants and sometimes she’ll go ahead and make stuff on her own. I think she just needs me for more specific jobs, you know? I mean, she’s very busy and she’ll never do anything twice. On her promo tour around the world, she has about a million things going on all the time so I try to help out whenever I can.
Goodness she needs this woman. She's gone out without pants about 2,048,672,394,872,943,862,351 times, and we're not into math, but we know that's more than twice. And how is she going to top the zipper eye patch? The solar-system hat? Those pink lace-up thigh-high boot–pant-leg hybrids? She needs new tricks and she's too busy and important being — contrary to what our dear friends at Vulture think — a musical artiste to come up with them herself all the time now. And Åkerlund is perfectly suited to that task. She says:
I feel like I have a lot of input because I come from the world of fashion. I don’t like to pull fashion; I like to make fashion. I feel like Gaga and I are alike in that respect. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about the new hot designers; it’s whatever we feel like doing at the moment. If that means pulling from old resources of designers we like or archives of things or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter as long as it feels right.
She did not go on to explain why pants feel so wrong.
B. Akerlund [Anthem]