The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

IKEA x OFF-WHITE: The Collaboration Of Our Dreams

For those who may not have heard, last year the  IKEA x OFF-WHITE collaboration was announced to the world. Now, I don’t know about you, but this has sent my tiny heart into meltdown. I can’t wait for this highly anticipated collection of homeware goods to come to fruition. But what can we expect from this merging of two minds?

Virgil Abloh is the man behind Off-White. He’s been causing quite the stir online thanks to his über cool aesthetic and skills at secrecy around the collaboration.

IKEA x Off-White

The information is, sadly, still quite scarce. Even the release date is somewhat of a mystery having not been confirmed yet, but from some of the clues in the imagery, we can (hopefully) expect the collection to come at some point in 2018 if not 2019.

Thanks to the wide range of homeware products available at IKEA, we can only hope and assume that Virgil is going to be bringing us quite the assortment of goodies to fill our homes with.

Now, we don’t have a full list of products that will get the Off-White treatment. But there are a few that have already made their way on to social media.

When you think of IKEA, the ideas of flatpack and affordable furniture circle through your head. But there’s one item that has been purchased millions of times round the world and it usually goes unnoticed:


That, of course, is the classic FRAKTA bag which has become a staple of IKEA’s design thanks to its Balenciaga‘s £1,600 equivalent to the 50p plastic bag that saw the light of day back in 2017.

LEFT: IKEA’s FRAKTA bag. RIGHT: Balenciaga’s leather homage.

The bag has now become somewhat of an ‘anti-fashion’ fashion statement with numerous people customising the bag and using it as base materials for other designs including; shoes, hats and even bras.

When IKEA first announced the collaboration back in 2017, the first thing we saw from the Off-White designs was a reinvention of the FRAKTA bag.

Off-White has gone down a much more tasteful path. The bag has abandoned the bold blue plastic colourings for a more tasteful envelope beige with cream straps and the world “SCULPTURE” across the bag in bold black letters.

Virgil Abloh posing with a prototype FRAKTA bag

Of course Virgil wasn’t going to abandon the idea of giving the infamous big blue bag a makeover. This simple shopping bag now has an cool streetwear feel that you’d gladly take wherever you go.

The photo of the “SCULPTURE” bag was taken in IKEA’s prototypes lab so we aren’t sure whether or not this will make the final cut. But after the popularity and social media attention from Balenciaga’s FRAKTA inspired leather hold-all, it would be surprising for Virgil Abloh to abandon the idea.

Say “YES” To Rugs

From what we’ve seen on Instagram so far, it would appear that the collaboration will feature at least two rug designs. Virgil gave us a sneak peek on social media of a giant red rug with the word “BLUE” in a blue bold font through the middle.

The second design we’ve seen was of a monochromatic interpretation of an Indian rug design. Again, with words to accompany, this rug says “KEEP OFF” in bold white letters.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a serious rug addict. I hope to own both these designs (and whatever else is coming our way).

Sadly, that’s all the designs we’ve been able to check out so far. But with the Off-White designs kept firmly under lock and key, you know we’re going to be in for a treat.

A Millennials Paradise

Now, millennials get a pretty shitty wrap if truth be told. It’s all “when I was your day I already had a house” and “you snowflakes are always moaning about something”, but in reality, the millennial generation is worse off than when our parents were our age.

Knowing these modern day struggles, the IKEA x OFF-WHITE collaboration set their target market firmly on the millennial first-time-buyers.

The IKEa website put out a statement which says “together, IKEA and OFF-WHITE look for ways to help create a home for millennials who are just starting out their lives.”

“We’re looking at that first phase of adult life, when you start making purchases for your space. 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.” — Virgil Abloh

It’s a shame really that these days most brands don’t target the youth of today. IKEA has always been an affordable brand for easy to assemble and modern furnishings that perfectly aid the transitional period of parents’ house to first house.

The Life Of A First Time Buyer

I myself have found myself in the difficult position of buying a first house. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m so damn excited to get the keys and move in (it will hopefully be in the next week or so) and one of the main things that keeps rushing through my brain is the thought of affordable furniture. I’ve already been given quite a few hand-me-downs which is kind but I want my first house to be filled with my own aesthetics.

So, with Virgil on the team, us first-time-buyers are going to be in for a real treat when it comes to cool furnishings in a reasonable price range. Bravo, Virgil, Bravo.

What Else Could We Get?

Though it seems unlikely, we may get a couple of items of clothing in the collaboration. Afterall, Katie Eary collaborated with IKEA back in 2016 and she brought us a couple of t-shirts as well as her range of homeware. Who knows, we may even get a small clothing range in the store too.

IKEA x Off-White

Whatever the outcome, I just hope this collaboration comes soon! I am absolutely gagging for some interesting furnishings for my new home.

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

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