Fashion loves the high-low mix. Swedish furniture outlet Ikea’s iconic royal blue “Frakta” bag has recently served as the accessorial inspiration for designers like Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga, whose “Arena” bag coincidentally features a similar size and shape to Ikea’s own. What you can buy at Ikea for 40p, you can buy at Balenciaga for £1,660.
Recognising its recent fad and marketable allure, Ikea called out Balenciaga for its copycat ways, but didn’t stop there. They have enlisted the creative vision of Off-White’s Virgil Abloh to collaborate on a new millennial-approved furniture collection. Abloh is also set to recreate the classic “Frakta” bag, adapting its original prototype into the more modern aesthetic of the Off-White brand.
Abloh joined Ikea at the Democratic Design Days in Sweden to discuss the outlet’s new creative direction. He said, “We’re in a moment where IKEA is transcending, and people are bringing this ‘do it yourself’ culture to the blue bag. What I’m most interested in is doing that process in partnership with the brand. It’s allowing me to put my opinion on a classic. It’s unique, and distinctively as much of off-white as its IKEA.”
Already dishing the design details of the new bag, Abloh is reimagining the tote to feature a cardboard model with “SCULPTURE” printed alongside its side, as well as yellow and blue striped handles. Virgil welcomes his new role within the Ikea dynasty, happy to aid its transition into a crossover between the fashion and furniture industries.
Some of you guessed it! @virgilabloh @off____white prototyping a fresh take on the FRAKTA bag in IKEA’s very own prototype shop in Älmhult. “We’re in a moment where IKEA is transcending, and people are bringing this “do it yourself” culture” to the blue bag. What I’m most interested in is doing that process in partnership with the brand. It’s allowing me to put my opinion on a classic. It’s unique, and distinctly as much of off-white as it’s IKEA”. Photo @piotrniepsuj . #IKEAtoday #Collaborationpartner #virgilabloh #offwhite #IKEADDD
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.