High fashion has a habit of finding inspiration in the most unlikely places. Remember Céline’s AW13 collection that featured a distinctly familiar plaid? We’d been using big plastic laundry bags with that print since our student days – and while our trusty hold-alls cost around £3, Phoebe Philo’s pieces were retailing for just shy of £1000. How about Vetements’ much-Instagrammed DHL T-shirt? For a questionable £185 you could wear the courier logo you've been used to seeing on vans whizzing around town.
Balenciaga have provided the latest offering of art-imitates-life, courtesy once more of fashion's enfant terrible, Demna Gvasalia. Showcasing their latest drop of bags, people on the internet have noticed an uncanny similarity between the luxury brand's Arena Extra-Large Shopper Tote Bag and IKEA’s FRAKTA bag. You know, the blue plastic one you lug around when gearing up your new flat with fairy lights and fold-up tables.
The trapeze-shaped shopper, which retails at a cool £1,365 in contrast with IKEA’s 40p number, features the same double strap handle and blue hue as the Swedish homeware mecca’s bag. What did IKEA have to say about the imitation? “We are extremely flattered to seemingly be an inspiration for the latest catwalk designs for Balenciaga”, Stella Monteiro, Sales Leader of IKEA UK & Ireland said. “Our IKEA FRAKTA tote is one of our most iconic products which are already owned and loved by millions – now many people truly can get the designer look for less.”
If you weren't already seeing double, Swedish agency Acne even created a fake ad with tips on how to tell the difference between the two models:
Can’t fathom Balenciaga’s price tag? ASOS Insider Debbie Shasanya was working a mini version of IKEA’s iconic handheld in 2016, so follow suit and drop by your local IKEA, stat.