When French luxury designer Balenciaga released its new “Arena Extra-Large Shopper Tote” at Milan Fashion Week earlier this month, the internet was quick to draw comparisons to Ikea’s 99 cent “Frakta” shopping bag, commonly used for storing laundry or carrying endless Ikea knick knacks.
Balenciaga’s bag, made from “blue wrinkled, glazed leather”, is retailing for a touch more than Ikea’s offering, coming in at around $US2145 ($2850). Naturally, fusses were kicked up, with many individuals and media outlets questioning the designer’s choice, and equally many throwing their support behind the humble Frakta bag.
The Swedish retailer had remained mostly silent on the situation, telling Today it was “deeply flattered” Balenciaga had imitated the Frakta, proudly claiming: “Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!”
However, the company has responded again with a cheeky advertising campaign, partnering with agency ACNE to produce a simple advertisement taking a dig at Balenciaga’s pseudo-Frakta, reports Creativity
Showing a simple image of the Ikea tote, positioned in a similar way to promotional photos of the designer’s tote, the ad carries the simple headline: “How to identify an original Ikea Frakta bag”.
— THE FASHION LAW (@TheFashionLaw) April 26, 2017
In fine print under the image, the company provides four steps for identification, including “Shake it. If it rustles it’s the real deal”, and “Throw it in the dirt. A true Frakta is simply rinsed off with a garden hose when dirty”.
ACNE’s creative director Johan Holgrem told Creativity the company was not offended by Balenciaga’s take on the Frakta, saying instead it was “unexpected and brilliant”.
“I like the flirt, and I thought, ‘Why not flirt back?’ And we did,” he said.