Announced in June last year, IKEA's next big collaboration is with the coolest man in fashion right now: Virgil Abloh, the 'fashion soothsayer' behind Off-White. Labelled its "non clothing" project by Off-White, the collab has already produced prototype rugs and a reinvention of IKEA's famous blue FRAKTA bag.
The launch date is still under wraps, but the brand's magazine Ikea Today has stated that the collaboration will land in 2019. One thing's for sure: it's aimed squarely at millennials. 'We’re designing this collection with the main goal of providing millennials with solutions for living based on the constraints of space,' said Abloh.
Everyone thinks he'll be heading up a major fashion house by the end of 2018, but, for now, Virgil Abloh remains Off-White's visionary director. He's head of a brand that has seen sales rise by a rumoured 100% between 2015 and 2016 in certain stores, and is one of the hottest brands this year. The Times call him the 'coolest man in fashion'.
Abloh (right) in November 2017
IKEA better be prepared. The Swedish homeware brand has collaborated with great names before: renowned Scandinavian designers like Ingegerd Råman, Hay and, this February, a 'bed sofa' by Tom Dixon.
Here's what we've seen so far of the upcoming Off-White collaboration:
Seen here toted by Abloh himself in IKEA's prototype shop, July 2017, Ikea's blue FRAKTA bag will be given the Off white treatment. The FRAKTA bag became an unlikely cultural icon last year when Balenciaga's holdall seemed to have taken it's design cues from the 99p item. We don't yet have a price for the Off white version, but we do hope it will still be able to hold all our worldly possessions.
In October, the next piece of the puzzle arrived: an Instagram image of statement rugs at the prototype shop. Vigorously patterned and making a very clear statement indeed, the "Keep Off" rug sets the tone for what we hope will be a playful and bold collection that helps young people customise their living space. "Keep Off" has a double meaning, after all, to 'keep' your own piece of Off-White design, but also to keep your muddy trainers off the goods themselves.
The rest... behind closed doors
The last post online on the matter, from December 23, shows another meeting in progress (and the FRAKTA bag outside)... but no further information.
Off White already designs more than clothes; Abloh himself starting out as an engineer. It seems we'll buy anything from the brand: even their £95 marker pens, produced in collaboration with Grog. Abloh also launched furniture collection, Framing, which may be a starting blueprint for Ikea's designs. We will update as soon as we know more.
Watch this space – it could be furnished with Off-White pieces soon enough.
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