Mass luxury: Inside Ikea’s latest designer collaboration

Global homewares chain Ikea has collaborated with Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh to create a new, small-space focused collection, launching Thursday. 

The MARKERAD collection was made with minimalist, first-home living in mind, bringing Abloh’s creative touch to 15 pieces: including a table, chair, mirror, rug, day bed, and various accessories. 

At the furniture chain’s Tempe store, the collaboration drew customers to line up and wait for a chance to buy the products – with Ikea setting a limit of one of each piece per customer to ensure everyone who lined up gets a fair chance to get their hands on the items.

“After two years of anticipation we’re excited to finally welcome MARKERAD into our stores,” Ikea Australia spokesperson Ryan Burman said. 

“There are extremely high expectations for this collection, and we don’t expect it to be around for long.”

Abloh said he was excited that the collection was out, and looks forward to seeing how customers utilise them in their homes. 

“In the same way you might hang a piece of art on your wall, art can bleed into objects like a chair, table or rug,” Abloh said. 

“That was my initial problem to solve when creating this collection together with Ikea.”

Abloh and Ikea initially met in 2017, and begun conceptualising what makes a first home, and what designs can serve both practical and emotional needs – this being the ethos of the entire collection, according to Alboh.

The collection follows several other homewares retailers’ stepping up their efforts to capitalise on the millennial market, who are entering their 30s and becoming first-home buyers – though are focusing on smaller homes than the previous generation. 

Bunnings recently revealed a nine-part DIY series on YouTube focused on teaching millennial customers the basics of small-home DIY, while online homewares retailer Temple & Webster chief executive Mark Coulter has noted much of its success is due to the shift to online being driven by the millennial market.

“Our hypothesis remains that the shift to online, which is being driven by the older millennials and those that have grown up buying everything online, is independent of broader macroeconomic factors,” Coulter said, in regard to the company’s growth despite the difficulties seen in Australia’s property market. 

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