Virgil Abloh's Off-White IKEA rug is already being resold for 6 times the retail price online
Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh has brought his playful design aesthetic to an unexpected partner: IKEA, your favourite budget-friendly furniture empire.
Turning his hand to textiles for your lounge rather than your closet, a preview of his IKEA x Off-White line for the Swedish giant debuted to much fanfare with a selection of rugs (including one themed on a huge IKEA receipt), a cabinet and other accessories.
While the entire collection is set to launch this November, on Wednesday evening IKEA surprised Abloh fans with a surprise drop of one of its most anticipated items - a rug which is now being resold for six times the price on eBay.
The wool and nylon rug is a grey and black Persian piece, featuring typical Off-White details: an art museum label on the bottom right and the gigantic words “KEEP OFF” plastered across the centre of the carpet.
Diehard fans and beady-eyed resellers queued for hours all over the world for a chance to get their hands on the rug.
According to a press release from IKEA, the rug retails for £400 and after digging through British eBay we discovered the 200 x 300 cm piece is already being sold for as much as £2,500 online.
In Stockholm, one savvy 14 year old told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet he had camped overnight in the cold rain in order to secure a rug for a buyer willing to pay £560 for it.
Other products from the collection were revealed last year, which included a grassy green rug which read “WET GRASS” and another buffering landscape which read “STILL LOADING”. A chaise longue, table and a £9 brown paper reinvention of IKEA’s iconic bags were also revealed.
Abloh said in a press release, “I wanted an ironic take on the traditional attitude to furnishing where the living room is just a showroom, not somewhere you sit. The parental ‘don’t ruin the furniture’ kind of thing I think has really impacted how younger people think.”
This isn't the first time Virgil Abloh has turned his hand to projects outside of fashion, recently teaming up with water brand Evian's creative advisor for sustainable innovation design. Evian announced a futuristic home water cooler and Abloh said of it that he was "inspired by great design and how it can shape our lives".
The rug is just one of the artistic collaborations that IKEA has in the works this year, as part of their Art Event 2019. International artists including London menswear designer Craig Green, Japanese artist Misaki Kawai and MoMA exhibiting artist Noah Lyon also have limited edition rugs in the works.
Henrik Most, the creative leader of the IKEA Art Event, said, “Art should be something that is accessible and affordable to the many people around the world...Some people have a preconception that art is about oil paintings or a sculpture. But why can’t we take art and apply that to a rug?”