In honour of cult store Colette’s 20th birthday and megastore Ikea’s new Art Event initiative, the two very different brands have joined forces. A new retail experience sees the Swedish giants taking up a residency in the ultra-chic Parisian boutique. Colette, in turn, is lending its discerning eye to some of Ikea’s most iconic designs like the Frakata bag – you know the one, it’s big, blue, sturdy and probably in hiding in a cupboard right now.
Ikea has taken over three key zones of the store, the infamous water bar (that sells over 100 different types of water), the front windows and the gallery space (watch the video of it coming together here). Ikea has fully embraced what Colette is all about– a multi-functional space that combines art, food, luxury fashion and more. It also ties into the brand’s current focus on moving away from its traditional Big Box store format and diversifying its offering with new initiatives, formats and concepts – read more here. The water bar is rebranded the ‘Ikea kitchen’ and adorned with a rainbow-hued zigzag graphic that the brand hopes will bring a ‘fresh Nordic feel’ to the room. The menu is a mix of Mexican and American staples – it might have been more fun to see them serve up the famous Swedish meatballs though!
In the windows, Ikea’s classic shelves and stacking tables have been artfully punctuated with cobalt-blue dots by the Colette design team and are orderly arranged to echo the furniture’s grid-like construction. The overall effect is unconventional and playful, yet rooted in Ikea’s stylistic codes. The series of limited edition prints displayed in the gallery space form part of Ikea’s 2017 Art Event – an initiative that sees the brand commission works from internationally renowned graphic artists. These will be available across Ikea stores further into the year with an aim to make art accessible to everyone. ‘We have a strong and simple vision about art at IKEA, and it’s that art should be affordable – it should be accessible for the many people’ says Ikea.
The above quote may be true, but by choosing to show the art to exclusive circles first, Ikea is cleverly ensuring it attracts kudos and increased press attention. Concepts like this show they are actively working on engaging a new customer. Colette’s designs will make an appearance in Ikea stores, hopefully diversifying the Parisian shop’s reach as well as bringing something unique to Ikea’s offering.