The House of Balenciaga – the creme de la creme of French luxe fashion. IKEA – affordable Swedish furniture, renowned for not having its assembly instructions read. Two companies that appear starkly different, they now both stock an eerily similar looking item, but with very different price tags.
Most would be familiar with the iconic IKEA tote, dubbed the Frakta, the blue and crinkly boss is about as indestructible as a Nokia 3310 and fits more than Mary Poppin’s bag itself, all for $1. Plus it’s been around since 1996, so practically family.
But if you’re not a big fan of polypropylene bags and would prefer a “blue wrinkled, glazed leather” that resembles plastic but isn’t, Balenciaga have finally got you covered. The “Arena Extra-Large Shopper Tote Bag” shares it’s shape, colour and style with the traditional Frakta bag but carries a price tag of $2145.
IKEA was quick to respond to Balenciaga’s release, but didn’t seem too fazed by the adaptation, telling Today, “We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the Ikea iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!”
Taking the joke (or beef) further, ACNE, IKEA’s advertising agency created a tongue in cheek advert to help consumers identify a true, real, genuine, legit, Frakta tote.
Last year saw Zara in hot water after similarities between their pin designs and independent artists suggested they were ripping off creatives ideas. Earlier this year we saw Trasher get hella mad when H&M pretty blatantly appropriated their classic flame font. In an age where ripping off ideas has become both more common yet also more easily identifiable, it is interesting to see Balenciaga recreate a cheaper item as a wildly more expensive one. Whether the similarities between the IKEA tote or not will be beneficial to Balenciaga, only time will tell.