Oct 24, 2019
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Buzz builds around November's Virgil Abloh collection for Ikea

Oct 24, 2019

A giant Swedish retailer is set to unveil a collaboration with a big-name fashion designer next month with excitement building already after the retailer has released images of the products. And no, we’re not talking about H&M, which previously had the designer collab field to itself for November.

Ikea/Virgil Abloh

Instead it’s Virgil Abloh whose long-awaited Markerad link-up with Ikea debuts on November 1 and seems to be on target for sell-out status.

Abloh is one of the most in-demand names on the fashion circuit at present, both for his Off-White label and his work at Louis Vuitton menswear, as well as collabs such as working with Nike and this latest with Ikea.

The two first got together in 2017 and said they “started to explore what makes a first home and what kind of designs will satisfy the practical needs and emotional aspirations when you want to make a statement in your home.”

They’ve come up with 15 items “that are basic needs when creating a first home” and that “take classic minimalist designs and build on them with the artistic references and disruptive elements typical of the multi-disciplinary creative Virgil Abloh' s work.”

His well-known quotation marks “can be found throughout the collection and are used to add a sense of irony and inject humour into the home.” And irony and humour are key with items such as a rug that look like an Ikea till receipt.

Also think a table, a chair and a daybed as well as smaller items such as a toolbox, clock and textiles. And multifunction is a guiding principle with the daybed, for instance, serving “as a platform for sleeping, working, eating and socialising”. 

We’ve seen plenty of designer collabs that sell out instantly and appear on eBay or other sites almost as fast. But Ikea is trying to control the supply of this collection and in the UK/Ireland, for example, it has sold advance tickets. These 6,450 tickets for the opening day (November 1) have now sold out and anyone wanting to buy the pieces will have to take what’s left later. But while there are limits on how many items people can buy, it’s open to question whether stock will last far beyond the first day.

Abloh said he’s looking forward “to see how these everyday objects will enter people's homes and hopefully add an emotional value to them. Because that has been the ethos of the whole collection. In the same way you might hang a piece of art work on your wall, art can bleed into objects like a chair, table or rug. That was my initial problem to solve when creating this collection together with Ikea.”

And Henrik Most, Creative Leader at Ikea, said the collab “has been characterised by a curiosity for each other's ‘playfield’ and a genuine willingness to try out new paths. By joining together our approaches to design, we challenged each other to think differently and created a collection that I think is bold, contemporary and carries messages of our time.”

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