Following in the footsteps of Balenciaga and a number of other design houses and creative individuals, Virgil Abloh is the latest to reimagine the familiar and purposely pedestrian IKEA Frakta bag for his high-end streetwear label Off-White.
You may know Abloh for his work as Kanye West’s creative director, behind everything from Yeezy’s album covers to stage design, or for his recent hit on the CFDA red carpet when Bella Hadid rocked a raspberry coat dress from the Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh line, and these Umbro shorts, which also got the Bieber seal of approval. Now, the Chicagoan multitasker, who has a masters in architecture and is also a DJ, has an exciting partnership with the Swedish furniture behemoth for us to look forward to.
Abloh opened up about the collab at the June 7 IKEA Democratic Design Days event in Älmhult, Sweden, where he visited the brand’s prototype shop to come up with with his simple, bold—and at this point—distinctly un-blue interpretation of the iconic shopper.
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
He referred to the Swedish company as an example of “best in class” in the industry and said “it’s a complete honour to be able to share ideas and make things.”
“My concept and design resonates with democratic design and principle that great design can be given to the masses and can be accessible,” he continued.
But he’s not done.
It seems that Abloh’s partnership with IKEA will extend beyond the Frakta bag and is part of a bigger project aimed at figuring out “how to make the first home for young people more personal yet inexpensive.”
Riding the recent wave of unlikely attention to its maybe most utilitarian offering, IKEA is slowly shedding its reputation as a maker of disposable dorm furniture—whose construction usually hinges on an Allen key and results in at least one heated argument—and position itself as a newly cool presence.