Virgil Abloh On What Inspired Ikea MARKERAD Collection

Multi-hyphenate Ghanaian designer Virgil Abloh and Swedish furniture manufacturer, Ikea announced the release of the Markerad collection at the beginning of October.

Well known Ghanaian-American designer Virgil Abloh, recently took on a collaboration with Swedish home decor company, IKEA, naming the collection “MARKERAD” launching on November 1st 2019 in the US and will hopefully expand into other overseas markets. The Ghanaian-American fashion designer designed 15 items which are aimed at students and young people who are moving into their first homes. These items range from a toolkit, doormats, clocks, tables, chairs, pillows, mirror, bag, a Mona Lisa lightbox, shelving unit, chaise lounge and more amazing designs which can be seen on the IKEA website.

Virgil Abloh On What Inspired Ikea MARKERAD Collection
Virgil Abloh X IKEA “HOMEWORK” Case

Abloh created the collection to be in support of IKEA’s “democratic design concept” which is intended to be both fashionable and affordable for individuals. A lot of the designs are designed based on the typical IKEA furniture outline but Abloh has added subtle details from his iconic designs beforehand such as “OFF-WHITE” with the well known quotation slogans.

Virgil Abloh X IKEA “SCULPTURE” Bag

Many have also expressed the desire to know what really inspired Virgil Abloh during the designing process of the Markerad collection. The 39-year-old Ghanaian-American designer who is also the founder of Off-White, pin-points the chair in the Markerad collection stating that the whole idea came from his childhood memories when he used to design chairs from scrap materials.

I was always building stuff by hand. I think that’s what was most important about those years of being a teenager and a young kid. You’re building furniture: you don’t even think of it as design. At least, that’s how I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. You just think the sofa is a sofa. That thinking has crept into this IKEA project‘, Virgil tells Highsnobiety in an interview ahead of the launch.

Virgil Abloh On What Inspired Ikea MARKERAD Collection
Virgil Abloh X IKEA
Virgil Abloh X IKEA

The Ghanaian-American fashion designer who was born outside of Chicago, Virgil Abloh, kick started off his career in the year 2002 by attending a meeting with African-American rapper Kanye West and his then-manager John Monopoly, on the day of his graduation, graduating in Civil Engineering. Shortly after the meeting Abloh and West conducted, they began working together. From helping Kanye West to design merch, to album art, and to set design. Ever since, both Virgil and Kanye have been keeping in contact.

Virgil Abloh and Kanye West at the Louis Vuitton 2019 Menswear Spring/Summer Paris Fashion Week

In 2006, Abloh completes his master’s degree in Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2009, Virgil Abloh and Kanye West became interns at Fendi in Rome. They both then took part in the Paris Fashion Show and was photographed by Tommy Ton for Style.com. 2010, Virgil Abloh was assigned the creative director at Donda, Kanye West’s creative agency. 2 years later, he released his first brand, Pyrex Vision, in New York. He sold his shirts for $550 each. Collecting dead stock Ralph Lauren t-shirts and printed the word Pyrex and the number 23 on them. A year later, Virgil has founded Off-White which has become a huge success in the fashion market. Luxury streetwear became very popular amongst people and celebrities. This is where the iconic quotation slogan comes from.

Virgil Abloh x OFF WHITE

2019, Virgil Abloh’s artworks will be the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Chicago and his latest collaboration with IKEA.

Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton

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