"SCULPTURE" bag thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Design 1900 to Now, Room 76

"SCULPTURE" bag

Bag
2019 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker

In 2019, the furniture and home accessories retailer IKEA released the MARKERAD (Swedish for ‘labelled’) capsule collection of homeware items in collaboration with fashion designer Virgil Abloh. The “SCULPTURE” bag is a reinterpretation of IKEA’s iconic blue plastic FRAKTA shopping bag, part of the IKEA shopping experience since the 1990s and one of IKEA's most popular products. The ‘co-branding’ nature of such collaborations helps to increase sales and offer new variations to standard products. IKEA is a brand that has been proactively seeking out such collaborations to produce capsule collections.

Such collaborations are also an opportunity for luxury brands to make their products available at different price points and to reach diverse market segments and consumers beyond their regular base. While clearly motivated by commercial interests, these collaborations also lead to the democratisation of design. The “Sculpture” bag was the cheapest product in the collection: the 33L version retailed for 10 Euros, whilst the 79 L version sold for13 Euros.

The release of the Abloh IKEA collection on 1-3 November 2018 transformed the IKEA shopping experience, reflecting a broader shift in retail strategies made popular by streetwear labels known as ‘product drops’. This sales strategy consists of releasing limited-edition products in small quantities at select retail locations, with the intention of creating a sense of urgency and the illusion of scarcity’ among (often younger) consumers.

Virgil Abloh has forged a reputation as a trailblazing streetwear fashion designer since 2012. Born in Illinois, Abloh first established his career as a designer during his stint as art director for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s joint album, Watch the Throne (2011). In 2013 Abloh established the label Off-White. Its design aesthetic centres on the iconography of American cities: white arrows, plain labels, industrial packaging and streetwear. In 2014, Off-White was selected as a finalist for the coveted fashion award for young designers, the LVMH Prize. This significantly increased Abloh’s profile and appeal to top buyers and designers in the fashion industry. Most recently in 2018, Abloh was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, making him the first African American director of a French fashion house. Abloh’s entry into the highest ranks of the luxury fashion industry was widely reported and interpreted as an indicator of streetwear’s entry into high fashion.



Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Bag made of sewn and printed reinforced paper.
Brief description
"SCULPTURE" bag, designed by Virgil Abloh for IKEA, 2019, paper, plastic, resin, polyester.
Physical description
Reusable bag made of plastic reinforced paper. The front is printed with black capital lettering reading “SCULPTURE”. Multiple IKEA logos are printed along the handles. The following text is printed bottom right on the back of the bag:

IKEA® c/o Virgil AblohTM

“For Carrying”

Alhmult, Sweden

c. 2019
Dimensions
  • Width: 46cm
  • Height: 45cm
  • Depth: 18cm
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
The front is printed with black capital lettering reading “SCULPTURE”. Multiple IKEA logos are printed along the handles. The following text is printed bottom right on the back of the bag: IKEA® c/o Virgil AblohTM “For Carrying” Alhmult, Sweden c. 2019
Gallery label
High fashion at fast prices Off-White co-founder and Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh designed this reusable bag as part of his MARKERAD collection for IKEA. The 2019 collaboration between the furniture giant and one of the fashion world’s most powerful creatives generated considerable hype. When launched, long queues formed at IKEA stores globally and items soon appeared on reselling websites like StockX and eBay. Reusable bag MARKERAD carrier bag, 2019 Designed by Virgil Abloh Manufactured for IKEA, Sweden Plastic reinforced paper Museum no. CD.12-2020 [This label was written for the inclusion of this object in the 'Consumption & Identity' section of the Design 1900-Now gallery opened in 2021](2021)
Place depicted
Summary
In 2019, the furniture and home accessories retailer IKEA released the MARKERAD (Swedish for ‘labelled’) capsule collection of homeware items in collaboration with fashion designer Virgil Abloh. The “SCULPTURE” bag is a reinterpretation of IKEA’s iconic blue plastic FRAKTA shopping bag, part of the IKEA shopping experience since the 1990s and one of IKEA's most popular products. The ‘co-branding’ nature of such collaborations helps to increase sales and offer new variations to standard products. IKEA is a brand that has been proactively seeking out such collaborations to produce capsule collections.



Such collaborations are also an opportunity for luxury brands to make their products available at different price points and to reach diverse market segments and consumers beyond their regular base. While clearly motivated by commercial interests, these collaborations also lead to the democratisation of design. The “Sculpture” bag was the cheapest product in the collection: the 33L version retailed for 10 Euros, whilst the 79 L version sold for13 Euros.



The release of the Abloh IKEA collection on 1-3 November 2018 transformed the IKEA shopping experience, reflecting a broader shift in retail strategies made popular by streetwear labels known as ‘product drops’. This sales strategy consists of releasing limited-edition products in small quantities at select retail locations, with the intention of creating a sense of urgency and the illusion of scarcity’ among (often younger) consumers.



Virgil Abloh has forged a reputation as a trailblazing streetwear fashion designer since 2012. Born in Illinois, Abloh first established his career as a designer during his stint as art director for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s joint album, Watch the Throne (2011). In 2013 Abloh established the label Off-White. Its design aesthetic centres on the iconography of American cities: white arrows, plain labels, industrial packaging and streetwear. In 2014, Off-White was selected as a finalist for the coveted fashion award for young designers, the LVMH Prize. This significantly increased Abloh’s profile and appeal to top buyers and designers in the fashion industry. Most recently in 2018, Abloh was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, making him the first African American director of a French fashion house. Abloh’s entry into the highest ranks of the luxury fashion industry was widely reported and interpreted as an indicator of streetwear’s entry into high fashion.



Collection
Accession number
CD.12-2020

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdNovember 18, 2020
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest