Creative Brand Communications

Ikea has something to say about THAT Balenciaga look-a-like bag.


The Ikea blue Frakta bag. At university it was the staple of any student slogging washing to and from the laundromat and probably still resides in most of our cupboards awaiting a load too large to be managed by regular carrier bags – mine currently has the important task of looking after our faux Christmas tree until December each year.  It’s practical, handy and arguably iconic in its own special way. But fashionable…?

That was the question on everybody’s lips after designer Balenciaga unveiled a bag which raised more than a few eyebrows at its uncanny resemblance to the infamously cheap and cheerful Ikea Frakta bag. It was an announcement that did not go unnoticed by the Swedish megastore who have now released a very tongue in cheek response as they relish their link to high fashion by outlining exactly how to spot the Ikea original as opposed to its more expensive designer cousin.


The small print reads:

How to identify an original Ikea Frakta bag
1) Shake it. If it rustles, it’s the real deal.
2) Multifunctional. It can carry hockey gear, bricks, and even water.
3) Throw it in the dirt. A true Frakta is simply rinsed off with a garden hose when dirty.
4) Fold it. Are you able to fold it to the size of a small purse? If the answer is yes, congratulations.
5) Look inside. The original has an authentic Ikea tag.
6) Price tag. Only $0.99.

Johan Holmgren, creative director at Acne (Ikea’s agency partner) said, “I wanted to act fast, so I called Morten Kjaer from Ikea Creative Hub. He loved the idea. The day after the Balenciaga bag was launched, I said, ‘We’ll have the creative work ready within two hours.’ We then went to one of our fashion photographers, Anders Kylberg, and shot the bag in his studio, with that same feeling and lighting as the Balenciaga bag. That same day, we sent the finished work to all markets.”

Holmgren calls Balenciaga’s move “unexpected and brilliant. I liked the flirt. And I thought, why not flirt back? And we did.”

Meanwhile, a rep for Ikea told Today: “We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the Ikea iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!”

After all, as the saying goes; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!



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