Update: In a live Periscope Q&A from Ikea's prototype shop in Älmhult, Sweden on Monday, Ikea's Henrik Most and Off-White's Virgil Abloh gave a more detailed look into their brands' forthcoming collaboration. The two showed off the first piece of furniture from #IkeaXVirgil, a blue, white, and black traditional oriental rug with the words "Keep Off" (in quotes, of course), printed across the middle. "It's provocative," Abloh said of the piece. "It makes you think."
"I want to bring the excitement of a new T-shirt to other aspects of your home," Abloh added of why he's chosen to venture into non-fashion territory. And though we don't know what those specific aspects will be just yet, Most noted the collection will be available "within two years," and will sold at an "affordable" price point.
This story was originally published on June 7, 2017.
When one is tired of IKEA, one is tired of life. Though I'm pretty sure the original quote wasn't actually about IKEA, the idea certainly holds true. The Swedish home conglomerate has long been an essential step in furnishing college dorms, first apartments, the like, and the frustration that comes with assembling its furniture has become one of the world's universal truths. Still, our love it (and its meatballs) is unwavering.
Lately, IKEA hasn't just been producing buyable collection after buyable collection — it's been inspiring fashion items left and right. Earlier this year, Balenciaga released a $2,145 version of IKEA's 99 cent Frakta tote, and it sent the internet into a frenzy. Now, IKEA is taking the industry's fascination with its bright blue bag into its own hands, by bringing in one of the fashion world's favorite designers.
Virgil Abloh, the founder and designer behind Off-White, is here to translate his style philosophy into a collaboration with IKEA. With creative direction credits that include his own line, as well as serving as the art director for the 2012 Jay Z and Kanye West album Watch The Throne (Abloh and West are longtime friends and collaborators), it's safe to say he'll be creating pieces with the Yeezy stamp of approval.
Both IKEA and Off-White took to Instagram to show off their partnership; in the images, Abloh is seen reinterpreting the Frakta.
In a statement, Abloh explained his primary focus while designing the line. "We're looking at that first phase of adult life, when you start making purchases for your space," he said. "Largely people grow up in their parents' environment. They've never had to consider furniture," Abloh continued. "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."
Who knew buying furniture was such a coming-of-age moment? Abloh did, naturally.
"I love working with the best in class of any genre," he said. "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."