Hosted alongside IKEA’s lead Henrik Most, the reveal of Virgil Abloh’s “MARKERAD” collection for IKEA was dubbed to be be brought to life via affordable and pungently design-seeped products. A live commentary ran from an undisclosed NYC location on Monday night.
The idea of transparency ran strong along the presentation flow – who made what, the people involved in what went into making the home designer products. The focus was ironically on “no name design”. We feel a cliche putting even this in quotations as Virgil’s signature quotation surrounding bolded letters are almost always quoted.
Part of the designs included quieter features of interior furniture, tools like doorstops painted red with a hole for a chair leg became a star piece of the collection. A theme of interruption also ran alongside the designs which created unassuming pieces like the doorstop. The piece was meant to be collided like a shoe on a chair leg attached to the classical piece of Swedish furniture called as a spindled Shaker/Windsor pinstool chair, born out of aesthetic of necessity, featured in the interview.
Abloh himself would like to include more transparent pieces in the final collection, not unlike his last collaboration with Nike in the fall.
Material sustainability also played a part in the design decisions for IKEA, which notably prides themselves on smart design and an awareness for well-being. This preyed on the target of Millenials – designs are meant to incorporate pride to the owner, which is appreciation and thus value for an object. Even clear glass cupboards were designed with red screw looking handles that are meant to show what the Millennial covets within the case.
Using a handle that looks like a nail also tributed to reusing something that was made with a basic function in mind. Thought behind the red handles also paid attention to classical design. These details were used as a means of connecting classical design to that which the modern consumer would like to use.
Virgil turns the floor to the wall with the best for last discussed piece of “art” reviewed in the live stream. A red sheared rug hung on the wall, mounted as would a medieval tapestry on a castle wall. Ironically the red rug is scribed with “blue” written in the middle, a quotation around the easiest selling colour in retail.
“Why does this need to exist?” asks Virgil to design. The hypothesis drives his creations and plays as an ethos for the Millennial consumer who is aware and sympathetic to their consumption in a sustainable way. As we enter into a circular evolution according to Al Gore, IKEA moves their foot in the door just as they did with their own red “MARKERAD” doorstop. To get more info on the collection and see all the pieces, click here. For a full integration of the reveal, watch the recorded livestream here.