WHO IS VIRGIL ABLOH, AND WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH IKEA’S MOST BUZZED-ABOUT BAG IN HISTORY?

Founder of streetwear brand Off-White announces top collaborations out of fashion boundaries

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Apart from styling Bella Hadid up, Virgil Abdoh has been Kanye West’s creative director at the time when Kanye West officially became Kanye West. He founded his own streetwear brand, Off-White, and often spins records at Volt club in Milan. Native from Ghana, he bears a Latin name. On top of that, he has just released his personal version of Ikea’s most buzzed-about bag in history.

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Born in 1980, Abloh grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and later studied civil engineering; after snatching a master’s degree in Architecture, he has been injecting his multifaceted estro and aesthetic sensitivity in every single field of his work ever since. Social media platforms – from Instagram to YouTube – are crammed with his self-generated contents, see the one and half hour-long design class he recently held at the Columbia University.

When Riccardo Tisci left the direction of Givenchy on last February, Abloh’s name jumped from mouth to mouth, but the operation didn’t complete successfully.

He lied low for a while, and suddenly stole the stage again on June 7th, 2017, with an Instagram post showing his own personal take on Ikea’s Frakta Bag, the iconic blue bag priced 0,99 cents which already triggered controversy due to Balenciaga’s copy (up for sale at 2,000 euros) a few months ago.

Is it a mere provocation targeting Balenciaga, or is there something else? The latter, we guess.

Let’s fly to Sweden, where on the occasion of the in Älmhult, Ikea’s top managers announced the brand’s most-anticipated collaboration for the upcoming two years: that involving Abloh, who also attended the conference. The main concept standing at the core of 2019’s new furniture collections is crystalline and easy: Millennials.

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A keen connoisseur of youth culture – a well-defined galaxy his fashion maison Off-White owes its existence to –, Abloh is making the most of his design upbringing; author of a site-specific installation at Miami Art Basel 2016, he is now going to shape a furniture collection of high artistic content and yet affordable, addressed to all youngsters leaving the family house for the very first time.

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Strong of his well-established collaborations with fashion titans of the likes of Moncler and Nike, Abloh defined the new partnership with Ikea like the highest point of his career; so, well, you would better watch out for more unexpected, spiced up versions of the Frakta Bag!

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