A collection of items that help you make a statement in your first home. Turning everyday objects into design icons, in collaboration with world-renowned creative Virgil Abloh. Make your mark with MARKERAD, launching November 2019.
“I want each item to bring people a sense of pride, and I want the great design to be the biggest reason why you get it.” – Virgil Abloh
VIRGIL ABLOH X IKEA
Over the last 10 years, Virgil Abloh has become one of the world’s most in-demand designers – and fashion royalty. He’s a multi-disciplinary creative who’s as comfortable behind a set of DJ decks as he is in the studio, with a celebrated history of collaborations with some of the world’s biggest brands. He uses his work to examine the interplay between contemporary visual culture and the world of design, melding high art references with his streetwear heritage.
Virgil, alongside Henrik Most, a creative leader at IKEA, conducted extensive research into the lives of young adults, in order to help understand their needs as they move out on their own for the first time. Then, over several workshops at IKEA’s design centre in Älmhult, Sweden, they worked together to develop sketches and prototypes, physically shaping the products themselves in our pattern shop. By joining together our approaches to design, we challenged each other to think differently – and created a collection that empowers people to build a first home that’s distinctively theirs.
“Millennials expect you to solve the function as a basic thing, and they want you to create that added value, that emotional attachment to the product” – Henrik Most Creative Leader at IKEA
The collection takes classic minimalist designs and builds on them with the artistic references and deconstructive elements typical of Virgil’s work. His iconic quotation marks can be found throughout, and are used to add a sense of irony and inject humour into everyday objects.
“It’s about elevating the anonymous, everyday icons that we use without noticing. When we put a doorstop on one of the legs of an ordinary chair we create something unexpected – an interruption.” – Virgil Abloh
Diversity within IKEA
Henrik Most on the collaboration with Virgil Abloh: “Even though IKEA is a company with a global reach, we don’t limit ourselves to a certain way of working and collaborating with certain designers. We celebrate diversity. For us, Virgil represents working across aesthetic borders, because he is not limiting himself to being only a fashion de- signer. That is interesting for IKEA because we can see that our customers and the ones we want to attract have, I would say, a longing for collections that have crossover content. I think that con- nects to how millennials perceive reality. They don’t have traditional opinions about how you can’t merge mass culture and pop culture with high fashion or high-end design. It all goes together in the same melting pot. The way we work at IKEA, we try to think outside of the expected when we develop collections, and we try to present them as our honest reflection of what we see going on in the world.”