It’s hard to believe that a $1.49 bag made entirely of polypropylene could be so influential. So much so that in 2017 Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of Balenciaga, introduced a $2,145 version in leather that set the internet ablaze.
In this episode of Why It’s Cool, a podcast that digs deeper into the most significant brands and products of our time, writer and host Sachin Bhola investigates IKEA’s Frakta bag. He speaks to a handful of sources to examine the bag’s origins, its appropriation by the fashion world, the resurgence of everyday totes, and its continued popularity to get to the heart of how the IKEA bag mysteriously became one of the most relevant products of our time.
First is a conversation with Iina Vuorivirta, an in-house designer at IKEA, who recounts the bag’s beginnings. Next, Jackie Skye Kim, the former associate fashion director of Barneys New York, speaks to the moment function gave way to form through the lens of Balenciaga’s Gvasalia. Then, Michael Cherman of Chinatown Market talks about the Frakta-inspired cap he produced in collaboration with Pleasures and discusses the bag’s modern-day reimagining, including Virgil Abloh’s take on it.
Listen to the full episode above and stay tuned for new episodes of Why It’s Cool each week. And for more, check out last week’s episode on how Dickies made trend-proof trousers.
- Director of Editorial Video and Production, North America: J. Andrew Keegan
- Producer & Editor: Sonia Manalili
- Writer & Host: Sachin Bhola
- Guests: Iina Vuorivirta, Jackie Skye Kim, Michael Cherman