Category: Products

IKEA x OFF-WHITE: The Collaboration Of Our Dreams

For those of you who may not have heard, last year the  IKEA x OFF-WHITE collaboration was announced to the world. Now, I don’t know about you, but this has sent my tiny heart into meltdown as I wait for this highly anticipated collection of homeware goods to come to fruition. But what can we expect from this merging of two minds?

Virgil Abloh, the man behind Off-White has been causing quite the stir online thanks to his über cool aesthetic and skills at secrecy around the collaboration.

The information is, sadly, still quite scarce. Even the release date is somewhat of a mystery having not been confirmed yet, but from some of the clues in the imagery, we can (hopefully) expect the collection to come at some point in 2018 if not 2019.

Thanks to the wide range of homeware products available at IKEA, we can only hope and assume that Virgil is going to be bringing us quite the assortment of goodies to fill our homes with.

Now, we don’t have a full list of products that will get the Off-White treatment, but there are a few that have already made their way on to social media.

Now, when you think of IKEA, the ideas of flatpack and affordable furniture circle through your head. But there’s one item that has been purchased millions of times round the world and it usually goes unnoticed.

That, of course, is the classic FRAKTA bag which has become a staple of IKEA’s design thanks to its Balenciaga‘s £1,600 equivalent to the 50p plastic bag that saw the light of day back in 2017.

LEFT: IKEA’s FRAKTA bag. RIGHT: Balenciaga’s leather homage.

The bag has now become somewhat of an ‘anti-fashion’ fashion statement with numerous people customising the bag and using it as base materials for other designs including; shoes, hats and even bras.

When IKEA first announced the collaboration back in 2017, the first thing we saw from the Off-White designs was a reinvention of the FRAKTA bag.

Off-White has gone down a much more tasteful path. The bag has abandoned the bold blue plastic colourings for a more tasteful envelope beige with cream straps and the world “SCULPTURE” across the bag in bold black letters.

Virgil Abloh posing with a prototype FRAKTA bag

Of course Virgil wasn’t going to abandon the idea of giving the infamous big blue bag a makeover. This simple shopping bag now has an cool streetwear feel that you’d gladly take wherever you go.

The photo of the “SCULPTURE” bag was taken in IKEA’s prototypes lab so we aren’t sure whether or not this will make the final cut. But after the popularity and social media attention from Balenciaga’s FRAKTA inspired leather hold-all, it would be surprising for Virgil Abloh to abandon the idea.

Say “YES” To Rugs

From what we’ve seen on Instagram so far, it would appear that the collaboration will feature at least two rug designs. Virgil gave us a sneak peek on social media of a giant red rug with the word “BLUE” in a blue bold font through the middle.

The second design we’ve seen was of a monochromatic interpretation of an Indian rug design. Again, with words to accompany, this rug says “KEEP OFF” in bold white letters.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a serious rug addict and I hope to own both these designs (and whatever else is coming our way).

Sadly, that’s all the designs we’ve been able to check out so far. But with the Off-White designs kept firmly under lock and key, you know we’re going to be in for a treat.

A Millennials Paradise

Now, millennials get a pretty shitty wrap if truth be told. It’s all “when I was your day I already had a house” and “you snowflakes are always moaning about something”, but in reality, the millennial generation is worse off than when our parents were our age.

Knowing these modern day struggles, the IKEA x OFF-WHITE collaboration set their target market firmly on the millennial first-time-buyers.

The IKEa website put out a statement which says “together, IKEA and OFF-WHITE look for ways to help create a home for millennials who are just starting out their lives.”

“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. Then when they’re off on their own and have their own aesthetic, what are their first purchases? I’m interested in thinking about how those purchases are informed.” — Virgil Abloh

It’s a shame really that these days most brands don’t target the youth of today. IKEA has always been an affordable brand for easy to assemble and modern furnishings that perfectly aid the transitional period of parents’ house to first house.

The Life Of A First Time Buyer

I myself have found myself in the difficult position of buying a first house. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m so damn excited to get the keys and move in (it will hopefully be in the next week or so) and one of the main things that keeps rushing through my brain is the thought of affordable furniture. I’ve already been given quite a few hand-me-downs which is kind but I want my first house to be filled with my own aesthetics.

So, with Virgil on the team, us first-time-buyers are going to be in for a real treat when it comes to cool furnishings in a reasonable price range. Bravo, Virgil, Bravo.

What Else Could We Get?

Though it seems unlikely, we may get a couple of items of clothing in the collaboration. Afterall, Katie Eary who previously collaborated with IKEA back in 2016 did bring us a couple of t-shirts as well as her range of homeware. Who knows, we may even get a small clothing range in the store too.

Whatever the outcome, I just hope this collaboration comes soon, because I’m gagging for some interesting furnishings.

Oiboy – The Shoplifter Style That’s Stealing The Spotlight

Now, here’s a brand you may not have heard of unless you live ‘daaayynn sarrrfff’. But fear not! I’m here to give you the rundown on a cool new emerging brand that’s not going to break the bank. We call it Oiboy.

The brainchild of two founders, George Langham and Dylan Hartigan, the South London duo use their hometown heritage as their main inspirations for the brand. Walking down the streets, you’re hounded by the same few shops and businesses abusing your eyeballs. Betting shops, skin care brands, off licences and markets all trying to sell you cheap shit that you don’t want or need.

As I say time and time again, fashion should be fun. And when it comes to good humour with clothing, Oiboy are serving it to you with full force.

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We’ve all been minding our own business while walking down the street at some point in our lives when we’ve witnessed in a slogan tee that has actually made you laugh. I once saw a very militant lesbian walking down the road with a top that said “it’s a bitch being butch” and it genuinely made me laugh out loud to the point where I thought I might get assaulted.

Regardless, whatever the slogan was, it made you laugh and that’s exactly what Oiboy are doing. They’re making you laugh by spoofing some incredibly well known brands, from beers to betting shops, nothing is sacred once the pair get their hands on it!

All it takes is a couple of rearranged letters, a slight tweak on a well known logo and you’ve got yourself a rather punderful brand. Not all British folk have a stiff upper lip, others are too busy with their tongue-in-cheek humour.

Adding to their take on ‘fast fashion’, Oiboy’s brilliantly named collection Stolen Goods is exactly what you’d expect. Their promotional short film features one of the youths of today coming out of a shop with quick haste – implying that he’s been shoplifting as he runs down the high street stripping off his clobber and throwing aside his garms.

If you haven’t had a gander at the collection properly, you may have missed one of their best features. The hats and some of the tops come with fake security tags, etched with the Oiboy logo. Not only is their collection a blatant piss take out of designers ripping ideas from other designers/companies, they’re now even mocking the fact that their designs are ‘stolen’.

The Oiboy mantra is that “talent borrows, genius steals” and nothing could be more true when you see their collection. Their stand at LFWM’s stand in the BFC’s Designer Showrooms was permanently busy with people fluttering by to cop a glare at what they were producing. These guys are definitely going to be one to watch.

I strongly recommend that you have a gander at their collection. It won’t break the bank… Just promise not to steal it!

Looney Tunes X Polaroid Originals

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It takes you back to happiness of yesteryear and makes you think of the “good ol’ days” when life was simple and you didn’t have to worry about mortgages, debt and what Donald Trump is going to say next.

In fact, nostalgia is quintessentially ‘on trend’ at the moment. With brands such as Ellesse and Tommy Hilfiger making prominent comebacks in the fields of fashion, the remastered Crash Bandicoot trilogy storming its way onto the PlayStation 4 some 20 years after its original release and vinyl records reviving people’s love for music without feeling like you have to be a keen-eyed collector. 35mm cameras are proving to be popular with young folks again more so than the expensive digitals counterparts.

And 35mm isn’t the only format of camera that’s making a resurgence. Instant film cameras are kicking back to a time-gone-by. I’ve had a FujiFilm Instax camera for a while now and I absolutely love it. You may remember that I’ve done a series of street-style photography on Instax film while at London Fashion Week Men’s. But I’ve always wanted to shoot on actual square-format Polaroid film. But while Instax works out at around £1 a shot, Polaroid has always hit into the £2+ per shot.

But I have finally taken the plunge! After seeing the new OneStep 2 i-Type Polaroid advertised online, it brought back my childhood lust for the iconic camera of my youth. So I went online and purchased a camera… But not actually the new one that I had intended on buying. In fact, I actually bought a vintage camera from their website that hit me with a double serving of total nostalgic proportions… I bought the ‘Taz Cam‘.

Granted, it’s not a discreet and tasteful Polaroid camera, but why the hell would I want that?! By now I think you’re all aware of my love of all things a little bit quirky and this camera is the epitome of quirky!

This reclaimed vintage camera is nothing short of magical for pure Looney Tunes nostalgia. This camera was made as a limited run in 1999 to honour the iconic cartoon character. Though you can still pick them up on various websites such as eBay and Amazon, the Polaroid website has a very limited few that are available for purchase, most probably a higher price tag than buying from other second hand sellers but Polaroid gives all its stock tests and refurbishments to make sure every nook and cranny is working to perfection. 

Inspired by the world’s most infamous Tasmanian Devil, the Polaroid 600 Taz Edition (affectionately known as the “Taz Cam”) is easily the most weird and wonderful camera Polaroid ever released. Produced for a short period in 1999, it turns the Polaroid 600 into Taz’s head, complete with teeth and tongue on the inside. If you’re the type of person that likes to stand out, it doesn’t get much better than this.

The exterior is sheer childhood heaven. When the camera opens you see the tongue and teeth printed around the lens. The shutter stands out with a bright yellow plastic button (that matches the yellow camera strap) and a beautiful big red rubber button at the end featuring concentric circles (much like the “That’s All Folks” circles from the Looney Tunes credit design.

If you’re wanting to reinvigorate your love for vintage photography and instant film cameras, a Polaroid will always give you that orgasmic sense of sheer joy. Pair that feeling with the Taz Cam and you’re ready to take on the world, one merry little step at a time!

Now, if you’re wanting another fun little treat to go with your new cartoon camera, I would definitely recommend getting the Colour 600 Film ‘Colour Frames Edition‘ to give an extra burst of vibrancy to your images.

You can also buy black & white film with the coloured frames from the Polaroid Originals website.

Now go forth and spread the joy and have fun snapping some old school images on the quirkiest/craziest/silliest camera in town!