Designer Virgil Abloh is known for disrupting fashion, so it’s not a big surprise that Ikea has tapped the designer to help it redesign its signature Frakta shopping bag.
Abloh visited Ikea’s prototype office in Älmhult, Sweden, where he gave the furniture company’s large blue plastic tote a makeover. The blue is no more. Abloh has created a canvas bag of a similar shape with top handles and a long yellow strap, keeping with the brand’s blue and yellow colors. On the front of the bag is the word “Sculpture.”
In the caption of an Instagram photo posted by Ikea, Abloh 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 distinctly as much of Off-white as it’s Ikea.”
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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
The Frakta bag has been making headlines recently. Balenciaga received some heat on social media after it made an oversized blue tote that shared similarities with the Frakta bag — except the Balenciaga bag retails for more than $2,000, while the Ikea bag is less than a $1.
Other clever social media users began posting photos of their own deconstructed versions of the Ikea bag, creating hats, clothing items and even shoes — this is the “do-it-yourself culture” to which Abloh was referring. Off-White also posted a video of Abloh working on the prototype — he can be seen cutting pieces of cardboard and taping them together.
Coincidentally, Abloh’s close friend Kanye West was rumored to be working on a furniture line with Ikea. West was spotted in March 2016 touring the Älmhult offices, and Ikea confirmed to a Swedish newspaper that West had indeed toured with a small group. It seems nothing has come from those meetings.
This week, Abloh was in New York to attend the CFDA Awards with Bella Hadid, who wore an Off-White look for the occasion. Abloh was nominated for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent for Off-White.