The New Balenciaga “Arena” Tote Resembles an IKEA Knockoff

IKEA’s “Frakta” $ 0.99 classic blue shopping tote bag got in the spotlight after the French luxury fashion house Balenciaga released their “Arena” shopping tote bag. The similarity between these two totes immediately got the attention of thousands of Twitter and Instagram users. And countless memes and comparisons showered our news feed. We can’t say for sure if the creative director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, was trying to bring the shopping experience to their beloved costumers on the highest possible level or was simply thinking outside of the box for their new collection.

ikea and balenciaga (3)

ikea and balenciaga (2)Anyway, one thing is for sure, there is great similarity between these two tote bags: the size, color, shape, and even the multi-handle structure are almost the same. However, the IKEA tote bag has the IKEA logo all over the handles, while Balenciaga obviously passed on this detail. Moreover, Balenciaga stamped a golden logo at the topline of their tote bag. For $2,145 Balenciaga offers blue wrinkled glazed leather lined with black fabric, zip pocket, and key ring lanyard. There is no question about the huge difference in the quality, but will the high-end shoppers accept the fact that there is a polypropylene $0.99 version of their lavish shopping bag?

On the other hand, IKEA seemed to enjoy the whole new situation that was going on with their classic blue shopping tote. Namely, the company’s response was: “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!”

We didn’t get to hear any official response from Balenciaga, but that didn’t stop IKEA from adding more flirtation to the dance. The company created a new funny ad campaign for their famous blue shopping bag that is all over their social media and website. It’s a simple ad with a picture of their blue shopping bag and text that reads: “How to identify an original Ikea Frakta bag.” Below, there’s a numbered list: “1) Shake it. If it rustles, it’s the real deal. 2) Multifunctional. It can carry hockey gear, bricks, and even water. 3) Throw it in the dirt. A true Frakta is simply rinsed off with a garden hose when dirty. 4) Price tag. Only $0.99.”

ikea ad

The ad was created by Acne agency and the creative director Johan Holmgren who explained that he liked the “flirt” Balenciaga has sent and wanted to “flirt with them back”.

If you have an extra couple thousand dollars to spend now you can go ahead buy Balenciaga’s “Arena” shopping bag and hit the grocery stores with style. But if you are more on the practical side, the IKEA’S $ 0.99 classic shopping bag will probably work best for you. At the end, the great news is that you at least have a choice.

Photo Courtsey of Barneys/IKEA

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