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It’s Happening: Off-White’s Virgil Abloah Is Redesigning the Iconic IKEA Blue Tote

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Earlier this year, Balenciaga released a $2,145 version of the iconic IKEA Frakta tote — and the internet duly lost its mind. Now, the Swedish furniture conglomerate is embracing its couture destiny. Yes, that polypropylene giant you use to shop the store and schlep your clothes to and from the laundromat is getting a high-fashion redesign. No, Demna Gvasalia isn’t involved. Rather, Off-White founder and designer Virgil Abloh will do the honors.

Both brands took to Instagram to announce the unlikely partnership. “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,” began IKEA’s caption, followed by a quote from Abloh: “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.”

Off-White’s post showed the one-time architecture student constructing a (cardboard?) prototype.

ex-architecture student meets “pattern making” @ikeatoday

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Happily, the buzzy partnership will go beyond bright blue bags. “We’re looking at that first phase of adult life, when you start making purchases for your space,” Abloh said in a statement. “Largely people grow up in their parents’ environment. They’ve never had to consider furniture. Then when they’re off on their own and have their own aesthetic, what are their first purchases? I’m interested in thinking about how those purchases are informed.”

“I love working with the best in class of any genre,” he added. “IKEA is a brand that spans generations – that stands for something. To give this collection a young approach and pay respect to that DNA is my goal.” (Here’s hoping he pays respect to the original pricing.)

Watch Abloh and Marcus Engman, IKEA’s head of design, speak more on the collaboration in the video below. (Abloh takes the stage around 12:50.)

[ via the Cut ]