IKEA released a new ‘street-inspired’ collection in collaboration with LA- based fashion designer Chris Stamp of Stampd last week. The in-store only range consists of 32 limited edition items, including acrylic shoe boxes, a skateboard holder and a handful of clothing items.
The product images have been taken in a whitewashed room and mirror the designer’s minimalistic style. It is important to note that these images definitely have a more artistic influence behind them, compared to IKEA’s usual catalogue shots.
This focus on aesthetic links nicely to one of three key points I made during my talk at Silicon Beached in London last month, about attracting young people to a brand. I think this collaboration is an interesting move from IKEA and, to me, is a clear ploy to engage a younger demographic.
Millennials and Gen Z are notorious for their ‘Instagram Opportunity’ obsession and eye for aesthetic, so it would be unsurprising to find out that their homes/rooms reflect this. As a homewares store, it’s a no-brainer for IKEA to hook in this generation as they approach home owning (or more likely renting) age. With 60.4% of all Instagram users being aged between 18 and 24, and engagement with brands on Instagram being 10 times higher than on Facebook, 54 times higher than on Pinterest, and 84 times higher than on Twitter, this strategy doesn’t come as a surprise. The new products not only tick the ‘Instagrammabilty’ box but link the IKEA brand with channels, outlets and figures this generation already engage with.
Chris Stamp shared the collection on his Instagram telling his audience that one of his “favourites from this collection is the acrylic shoe box. It’s simple, but a necessary closet luxury.” He also wrote how this way of displaying your shoe collection is an obvious idea and should have been done before. The shoe boxes are a dream come true for any trainer fan and as Stamp explains: “Now they’ll be available for everyone.”
Only a few days into the release and we can already see thousands of posts on the ‘gram featuring the new products; either in homes or on display in store.
IKEA also revealed a first look at their collaboration with Virgil Abloh last week. Founder of fashion brand, Off White, which has been endorsed by the likes of Kendall Jenner, Rhianna and Jay Z, Abloh is a statement character among the next generation of consumers and his name is guaranteed to attract their attention.
A live stream from New York revealed that the range is to be named Markerad, and is aimed at students and young people moving into their first homes. The prototypes they unveiled hinted at a more furniture-focused range, featuring a chair with an artistic red doorstop clamped onto the foot. It seems as if Abloh’s 2019 furniture release will be a nice follow on from Chris Stamps accessory centred range this year.
IKEA’s focus on the aesthetic of new products and collaborations with Gen Z/Millennial household names, suggests they are working to position themselves as the affordable, designer homewares outlet. I think IKEA have hit the nail on the head with this campaign, and if their objective is to engage a younger audience, they are certainly on the right track. I doubt IKEA will be the only brand taking similar action either, it’ll be interesting to see who follows suit. I’m also wondering if the fact Stamp’s collection has only been released in-store is a tactic to get this generation off-line and back into the shops…? Food for thought…..