Midsommar Magic: Veronica Ferraro, Yoyo Cao, Alexandra Pereira and Karen Wazen Bakhazi Take Stockholm In Max Mara’s Cruise 2024 Collection

Grazia photographed the four digital entrepreneurs in Stockholm wearing pieces from Max Mara’s Cruise 2024 collection, which was inspired by a romantic legend and heroines who have left a mark on history
From left: Yoyo Cao, Alexandra Pereira, Karen Wazen Bakhazi and Veronica Ferraro

In Swedish tradition, it is said that you should pick seven wildflowers during Midsommar, the festival that celebrates the summer solstice in June, and place them under your pillow to dream of your true love. Drawing from this romantic legend, Ian Griffiths, the creative director of Max Mara, dreamt up the Cruise 2024 collection. Another muse of this collection? The Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. For this reason, the brand decided to show in Stockholm’s City Hall, where the Nobel Prize celebrations are held annually.

To commemorate this momentous occasion, GRAZIA chose four international digital creators, and photographed them in Sweden, wearing the pieces that inspired them the most from Max Mara’s latest collection. Here, they share their thoughts on the show and the significance it holds for them.

For Spanish influencer Alexandra Pereira, who boasts 2.3 million followers on Instagram, the Blue Hall holds a special memory. “I was moved at the thought of sitting in the room where the achievements of women and men of science and culture [are honoured],” she says. “I thought of people like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the South African politician Nelson Mandela [NB: recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, 1991 and 1993 respectively]. I was struck by the majesty of Stockholm City Hall.” 

Alexandra Pereira

A former American psychologist, Karen Wazen Bakhazi is a digital creator with 8.1 million followers on Instagram today, focusing on issues of female empowerment. “Female independence—like that demonstrated by Queen Christina of Sweden, who renounced the crown to follow her ideas [NB: she was queen of Sweden from 1632 until her abdication in 1654, after her conversion to Catholicism]—is a theme very close to my values and personal experiences. This is why the fashion show was very significant for me,” she tells GRAZIA. “Knowing how to mix different styles and content while remaining faithful to one’s ideals is fundamental nowadays. The meeting point between fashion and empowerment has always been one of the values I have pursued.”

Karen Wazen Bakhazi

Born in Macau but a long-time resident of Singapore, Yoyo Cao has built a name for herself and garnered 480 thousand followers on Instagram. She was fascinated by the beauty of the garments, telling us, “The look that I liked to wear most during the GRAZIA fashion shoot was the semi-transparent floral dress—it’s a very feminine garment, and even if I don’t consider myself a feminine girl when it comes to my personal style, I love the way that its transparency, ruffled texture and structured cuffs add a contrast to the softness.”

Yoyo Cao

Veronica Ferraro, Italian designer and digital creator, visited the Swedish capital for the first time for Max Mara’s Cruise 2024 show and was duly impressed. “[This was] my first time in Stockholm, and it was during the traditional Midsommar festival. It was such a celebration of the flowers, the light and the spiritual energy that comes from such a beautiful moment.”

Veronica Ferraro

Photography ANDREA OLIVO