IKEA C/O Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh is becoming a household name, with items like the Industrial belt making regular appearances in the streets, collaborations with Nike "The Ten," and numerous upcoming projects including IKEA and possibly Louis Vuitton. Venturing off into industrial and interior design is not a new feat for fashion designers, looking back at Raf Simons time studying the field in Genk, Samuel Ross’ Concrete Objects, even Virgil's own education and experience with his ghost-like collection, “GREY AREA”. However, the collection with IKEA is going to be a completely different field when compared to his contemporary past collection.
The Virgil and IKEA collaboration was announced at the Democratic Design Day back in June with the idea of allowing “first time buyers” looking at furniture for their homes. Virgil said, “We’re looking at that first phase of adult life, when you start making purchases for your space. Largely people grow up in their parents’ environment. They’ve never had to consider furniture.” Often, first time buyers don't know what to buy for their own homes; Virgil aims to help provide a basis for these purchases. This idea of form versus function comes up, having a bunch of messy items or owning curated timeless furniture, something you could take care of and use for years to come. What Virgil and IKEA are aiming to do is allow everyone to have good design in their homes for accessible price options (hopefully, TBA). Overall, the idea behind the collaboration comes from wanting to embed the knowledge of creating a good home into a younger audience.
Recently, even more details have emerged after a livestream Q&A on Virgil’s Twitter. They covered a variety of topics and showed off a sample rug that read “KEEP OFF” with an ornate design covering the rest. This addition from Virgil makes an ordinary rug provocative and noticeably stand out without being overly outlandish. They mentioned the idea of democratic design, or being able to allow everyone to own a well designed piece of furniture for affordable prices. This way of creating good design, with a low price point, while maintaining high standards, allows first time buyers to educate themselves without shelling out ungodly amounts for reputable design. This idea of affordable design for the people, by the people is an important step in the right direction.
For More on Virgil, check out this video by The New York Times