In case you missed it, Virgil Abloh is an American fashion designer and founder of the fashion brand Off-White who continues to reinvent himself – and us – as he moves through his creative journey as a designer, not least via a series of exciting brand collaborations.
To date he has focused on fashion brands, including Levis, Nike and eyewear brand Warby Parker, to name a few. His latest coup is this year joining Louis Vuitton as the director their men’s wear collection – debuting in Paris this June.
As if walking in his designer shoes wasn’t enough, it will soon be possible to store and display them in a stylish, purposed built cabinet designed by Alboh as part of a new collaboration with IKEA, unveiled in New York this week.
The IKEA x VIRGIL ‘Markerad’ range is aimed at millennials - students and young people moving into their first homes and includes homewares designed for functionality and flexibility unique to this market, with a street-style twist.
"The essence of the project is not just us designing something cool for cool's sake," said Abloh, who also has a degree in architecture. "I'm trying to invest an artistic quality in things that you already have."
One such design is Door Stop Interruption, a simple wooden chair with a bright red door stop on one of the feet.
Also in the range are floor rugs emblazoned with words and catchphrases.
Rather than filling our lives with excess stuff and unnecessary purchases, Alboh hopes to encourage young people to value what they own by giving it more meaning and resonance with a younger audience. "This is a means of curating your junk drawer or curating the most coveted things," says Alboh. "At least they're stored and they become an art object. I think that will have an impact on our consumption level."
Another design to look forward to is a new interpretation of the iconic FRAKTA bag – currently in prototype stages. "We’re in a moment where IKEA is transcending, and people are bringing this “do it yourself” culture to the blue bag,” says Abloh on IKEA’s Instagram feed. “What I’m most interested in is doing that process in partnership with the brand. 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.”
According to Dezeen the collection is set to launch in 2019. Watch this space.