IKEA is a staple of pop culture. Absolutely everyone has visited the flat-pack mega-retailer at some point, whether it’s to kit out their new home, buy a few plates or just sample the store’s Swedish meatballs. No IKEA product is more iconic than the 99-cent FRAKTA bag, an extra-large, extra-sturdy Polypropylene tote that thousands of the store’s customers use to stash their purchases.
Last month, Vetements and Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia made headlines with the “Arena” bag, a copycat version of the FRAKTA, made in Italy from luxury leathers and costing an eye-watering $2,145. In response, IKEA quickly issued a tongue-in-cheek advert espousing the benefits of its 99c staple.
Demna’s not the first designer to pay tribute to the humble IKEA bag, though. Creatives have been butchering the bag for their own Frankenstein creations for years — and it’s not hard to see why. The FRAKTA’s fabric is hard as nails, and the huge IKEA logos running down its straps allow for lots of novelty logo placements.
Here’s some of the best (and most ridiculous) IKEA-meets-fashion mashups out there, courtesy of these innovative young creatives.
Alexandra Hackett, aka @miniswoosh, is a Nike-obsessed creative who’s been known to cut up anything and everything in order to create some weirdo new garms. @a_l_c_h_ is the outlet for her projects, and alongside the above IKEA wallets and card holders, she’s also done some Royal Mail trousers, Lucozade card holders and even a flame-retardant fire blanket sweater.
Hackett also claims to be the originator of the IKEA bucket hat — a garment that we’ve seen doing the rounds online a lot. Check out Hackett in Nike’s “RevolutionAirs” project celebrating Air Max Day, while you’re at it.
The most ridiculous — and impressive — of all the IKEA Frankenstein creations we’ve seen as yet is this insane rip of Balenciaga’s “Speed Trainer” sneaker. So, Demna rips the IKEA bag for Balenciaga, IKEA makes an advert ripping the Balenciaga bag, and @studiohagel rips them both — so meta.
Does flat-pack furniture turn you on? Well, @signeralkov has just the product for you. Saucy.
Pleasures and Chinatown Market linked up a few weeks back to drop this IKEA-infused dad cap. Just like the FRAKA bag, the cap is waterproof and sturdy enough to carry heavy items (and your head) without breaking a sweat.
The Japanese creatives also did a fetishistic choker, and splashed some of the Swedish design giants straps over a bomber jacket too.
Creator of many a YEEZY custom, @frecustoms decked out this Air Force 1 sneaker with IKEA detailing on the tongue, toe and heel. In fact, the white-on-white Air Force 1 makes quite a nice blank canvas.
Although it’s clearly a computer rendering, this Instagram user imagines the “Cream White” YEEZY Boost 350 V2 with IKEA branding, and even contrasting yellow lace-tips. Nice touch.
Off the back of the Surpeme x Nike Uptempo hype, this so-called “Gymnastiksko” computer concept flips the script on the vintage basketball sneaker, reading “IKEA” on the upper in favor of the classic “AIR” branding. Hilarious.
For further IKEA ramblings, see what fashion industry insiders think of Demna’s controversial bag.