You won't have to wait till payday to cash in on fashion's latest craze. After French fashion house Balenciaga put out the biggest bag for spring—literally, this thing is huge!—people noticed that the $2,145 tote looked familiar. And it kind of reminded them of Swedish meatballs.
Here's a look at fashion's version of the fetching cary-all, shown side-by-side with a bag you may pick up during a weekend run for practical shelving.
They look rather similar, yes? The main difference may be the price tag: the Ikea shopping tote at left, known as the "Frakta" bag, goes for a mere 99 cents. The similarity was not lost on Ikea, which responded graciously to its apparent role as haute-design muse. A company spokesperson 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!"
But then, the home-goods giant decided to have a little fun with the whole they-totally-copied-us thing. Ikea put out a cheeky ad that laid out: "How to identify an original Ikea Frakta bag."
Among the ways to tell if this bag is the real deal: "It can carry hockey gear, bricks, and even water." It's also pretty low-maintenace. "Throw [the bag] in the dirt," the ad suggests. "A true Frakta is simply rinsed off with a garden hose when dirty."
Balenciaga's creative director, Demna Gvasalia, has yet to comment. But, the designer has a long history of borrowing inspiration from unexpected sources, and mixing high and low design aesthetics. For his spring 2017 collection, which showed at Paris Couture Week, Demna collaborated with brands including Champion and Juicy Couture. So, it's no wonder he's at the center of this juicy, playful controversy.
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