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Inspiration -

Five Minutes with Fredrika

Fredrika Akander, known as Fakander on Instagram, is the face of our Bluesday collection and it’s clear to see why. Beach blonde tousled waves, tanned limbs, a Scandinavian accent and an absolute pleasure to work with on creating content. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous in front of the camera, she is pretty handy behind the lens too and edits all her own photos as well as comes up with the creative concept and styling, nailing the brief every time.

 

Fredrika has been part of the Billabong family for a while now, our relationship blossoming when we ventured to France a few years ago to hang out with the Billabong Europe and USA teams, all the while documenting our days.

 

We want you to know her as well as we do, so we sat down and asked her a few questions to find out some secrets on what makes this blogger one savvy girl boss.

 

 

Okay, so tell us, when and why did you move to Australia?

 

Like many other scandis who find themselves down under: for love. I met Nick in Europe six years ago, and after a few years of living both in Melbourne and London (and a little all over the place) we found ourselves back in Melbourne, and I have a feeling we will be here for a long time! Australia is definitely far and sometimes it does get hard being so far away from home but it is worth it, I love Australia and Nick is my rock, I couldn’t be without him!

 

 

How did you get into content creating and what does your typical day look like?

 

I really got into it by chance. I was doing my postgraduate degree and teaching yoga on the side and taking photos was just a hobby. But it just started growing and turned into this time-consuming job I couldn’t really ignore! I’ve never been able to stick to just one thing; I get bored too easily! I don’t think I have such a thing as a ‘usual day’ anymore. It depends on what projects I have going on. At the moment with the corona virus outbreak, I am currently shooting lookbooks and content in my house, which is a blessing and curse at the same time! Generally, my days consist of a lot of coffee drinking in front of my laptop editing and planning for the next shoot!

 

 

What kind of camera do you use, and who takes your photos for you?

 

Nick takes all my photos! He is way more creative than I am. He edits all the videos we do as well as create the music for it while I do all the photo editing. We use a Canon 5D or Canon EosR depending on if we’re traveling or what kind of photos we’re taking.

 

We just love your aesthetic! What do you use to edit your photos and what’s the process?

 

Thank you! I use Lightroom to edit all my photos. The longer I am doing this the less I tend to edit. I used to be all over those highly filtered photos, but it really ruins the image and you can lose the real feel in the image. So lately, I am embracing a ‘less is more’ approach while editing. For my own Instagram, I rarely edit the images but for brands and commercial use I try to just edit in a way that would suit the brand. For Billabong, we really wanted to get the seaside sunkissed feel to it. The trick is to shoot at the right time of day, so you don’t have to really edit much. Decide beforehand what vibe you want and figure out what time of day, weather and angle would work best. When shooting Bluesday we got so lucky, there was a magical color to the ocean that late afternoon!

 

 

What is your earliest memory of Billabong?

 

I’m pretty sure me and my sister were drooling outside the window of the Billabong store in Lacanau on the coast of France late 90’s or early 00’s. We wanted EVERYTHING. We were kids and didn’t even surf, we had little boogie boards (mine had a dolphin on it), but we thought we were as cool as the super hot surf dudes on the big waves. We’ve both been pretty much obsessed with anything Billabong ever since.

 

 

 

What is your favorite piece from the Bluesday collection?

 

The tie dye sweatshirt. It’s absolutely divine. And the high-waisted bikini bottoms with the bandeau top – that will be my go-to bikini if I ever make it to euro summer this year!

 

 

 

How’s the surfing going?

 

It’s getting there! I’m definitely still very much a beginner, but I did some surfing in Manly this year with Sally Fitzgibbons which was just amazing (girlcrush!). I also checked out the new Urban Surf facilities in Melbourne where they gave me a little lesson so my technique SHOULD be getting better- I just need more beach days to practice! Nick got me a fish for Christmas so I need to get a hang of that one, it’s definitely harder than my old mini mal!

 

 

Where did you shoot the collection?

 

We were supposed to shoot this collection in Hawaii but as the world is looking at the moment that wasn’t possible. We improvised and shot it down the coast of Port Phillip Bay. We got lucky- the wind was picking up so the sea was just beautiful at the end of the day!

 

 

 

How do you keep your skin so dewy, bronzed and perfect?

 

I probably spend a little bit too much time in the sun than what is healthy but coming from a dark country like Sweden where sunny warm days are a luxury, I simply cannot help it. I also use fake tan in winter, and I replaced all my body lotions with oils. It’s so much better for my skin and keeps it hydrated longer! My latest favorite product is the tanning drops from Isle of Paradise, you mix them in with your facial moisturizer and it gives you a super natural looking tan!

 

 

What’s one item of clothing you couldn’t live without?

 

Bikinis and oversized sweatshirts. I’ve got too many and I love it.

 

 

 

What do you do to relax/wind down after a busy day?

 

I put the cushions I have on my outdoor furniture down on the veranda floor and just lie down and read a book with my dog curled up next to me. It’s the best.

 

 

If you had a whole weekend off, how would you typically spend it?

 

In summer, on the beach with Nick and our dog. In winter, I love staying home for a whole rainy day and just cook and bake up a storm. I make lots of slow cooks and banana breads and just make a mess while trying new recipes.

 

 

What would be your dream email to wake up to, who would it be from and what would it involve?

 

I’ve had a few over the years that have been pretty amazing (that time you guys invited me to Biarritz for a week was insane), and last year I was invited by Cotton On Foundation to join them on a trip to South Africa and Uganda to start our collaboration together for a fundraiser I am doing. That was a pretty magical email to wake up to! I’ve been so lucky, it’s hard to imagine what a dream would be now!

 

 

If you could invite 3 people to a dinner party, who would they be and why?

 

Trevor Noah because he’d make everyone laugh. Yotem Ottolenghi (he’ll need to bring food of course) and Frida Kahlo because I really want to drink tequila with her. Doesn’t that sound like the best night ever?

 

 

Your favorite beach in the world? And a beach you haven’t been to yet but is high on your bucket list.

 

I’ve got two favorite beaches I simply cannot choose between: Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu and this little hidden gem that I cannot name on the west coast of Crete. A beach I have been dreaming about since I was a kid is Copacabana. It just looks magical, the soccer, the tiny Brazilian bikinis, the language. Everything!

 

 

You are a qualified yoga teacher, tell us about that!

 

I used to teach yoga full time and I loved it. But everything has its time in life, and now I teach very rarely. I like to practice more alone at home rather than in studios. Doing my teacher training in Vancouver is one of my best and fondest memories. It was my last year in Canada, I was finishing up both my uni degree and preparing to actually leave all my friends and my whole life there. It was very bittersweet. I learned a lot about myself that year!

 

 

What’s your day on a plate look like?

 

My day starts with 2 oat milk coffees (spread out between 6- 9 am). I never really eat breakfast, not for a specific reason, I’ve just never had an appetite in the morning. For lunch I usually have a smoothie and PB toast or if I have leftovers from dinner, I will eat that. For dinner, I love cooking big pots of lentil or chickpea curry with lots of veggies or I’ll make salmon with veggies and stir-fry noodles. We’re very much a snacking household, so after dinner we always have either something baked like banana bread or I’ll make some homemade coconut or oat ice cream. My favorite snack at the moment is popcorn with nutritional yeast, if you haven’t tried it – you’re missing out!

 

 

 Your favorite season for fashion?

 

I love spring and autumn. Especially in Australia since it is like Swedish summer. I feel the most like myself in my doc martens, cut off jean shorts and an oversized tee with a knitted sweater in my bag if it gets cold. I don’t think my true go-to style has changed much over the years!

 

 

If you had to eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 

Carrots. I’m obsessed with them. Always have been always will be.

 

 

Lastly, tell us how you are staying sane while isolating during this crazy time in our world. Any advice for people that might be struggling right now?

 

I talk to my friends, mom and sister everyday on the phone, and lots of video calls! I take lots of walks early in the morning when it’s quiet with my dog. Aside from little home workouts here and there it is my only exercise at the moment! Just trying to stay positive, and I do believe we will all come out stronger on the other side of this. And when this is over, we will be so much more grateful for little things like an afternoon at a café with our friends.