Since Ikea announced its collaboration with Virgil Abloh in June 2017, little information has been leaked about what the Swedish retailer and Off-White founder have been up to. Images of Abloh with a new prototype of the famous Frakta tote, this time in beige rather than Ikea’s signature blue, and pictures of slogan rugs reading “Keep Off” and “Blue” in Ikea’s Älmhult prototype shop, are all we have seen of the capsule collection of furniture and decorative pieces designed especially for generation Y.
On April 30, this is set to change. Ikea announced via its Ikea Today Instagram account that it will live stream a conversation with Abloh on his creative practice at 1230am UAE. “Get access to the process, the ideas, the prototypes,” the teaser video reads. It has garnered close to 200,000 likes since it was posted yesterday.
“We’ve been curious about Virgil Abloh for some time,” Henrik Most, creative leader at Ikea Range and Supply told press at the Democratic Design Day last summer. “Him being a multi-creative persona who doesn’t care about boundaries combined with his close connections to young people, their needs and wants. It made us curious.”
“Ikea wants to explore the first home and how to make it inexpensive and fashionable,” he added of Abloh’s brief to create furniture for the dorms and halls of a millennial consumer. “We believe Virgil Abloh and Off-White is the perfect match to do that with.”
Despite being one of the busiest men in fashion (as well as working on his Off-White line, which has a handful of collaborations on the go, he has recently taken the helm of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division), Abloh took on the challenge. “We’re in a moment where Ikea is transcending, and people are bringing this ‘do it yourself’ culture to the blue bag. What I’m most interested in is doing that process in partnership with the brand,” he added. “It’s allowing me to put my opinion on a classic. It’s unique, and distinctly as much of Off-White as it’s Ikea.”
He has bolstered his knowledge of architecture (he studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then architecture in Illinois, before graduating to work at a small architecture firm) with student conversations on what young adults really want to furnish their homes with. Watch his research come to light in the live stream on Monday at Ikea.today.