Dezeen Magazine

IKEA responds to Balenciaga's take on blue tote with spot-the-difference guide

Following the news that Balenciaga has released its own take on the IKEA Frakta bag, the Swedish furniture giant has devised a guide to help customers differentiate the 40p tote from its £1,705 counterpart.

The graphic was designed by IKEA's advertising agency partner Acne for the brand's website and social media channels. It outlines four ways customers can tell whether their blue Frakta bag is the "real deal".

Among these tell-tale signs are two instructions – shake it to see if it rustles, and throw it in the dirt to see if it can be rinsed off with a gardening hose.

Its multifunctional capabilities are also highlighted, and most obviously its price. At £1,705, Balenciaga's version of the tote is 4264 times more expensive than the 40p original.

"It's not every day you hear about a world-renowned fashion house copying the design of a blue plastic bag," said Acne. "So when Balenciaga did just that, IKEA put together a swift response – giving customers some tips on how to know that their Frakta blue bag is the real deal."

Balenciaga's Arena bag was likened to IKEA's Frakta shopping bags, thanks to its similar blue hue and double shoulder straps.

However, the luxury fashion house's take on the tote is made from blue, wrinkled, glazed leather. It also zips shut at the top, a feature lacking from the original bag.

When news of the similar design broke, IKEA – somewhat unexpectedly – said it was "extremely flattered" by the comparisons made.

"We are extremely flattered to seemingly be an inspiration for the latest catwalk designs for Balenciaga," said Stella Monteiro, sales leader for IKEA UK and Ireland.

"Our IKEA Frakta tote is one of our most iconic products which are already owned and loved by millions – now the many people truly can get the designer look for less."

IKEA's popular Frakta bags were originally designed by siblings Marianne and Knut Hagberg. They are made from synthetic material polypropylene, making them suitable for uses ranging from waste disposal to storage for clothes.

Last year, Danish design brand Hay redesigned the iconic blue and yellow bag as part of a newly announced collaboration with the Swedish furniture giant.

IKEA was the highest-placed brand in last year's Dezeen Hot List, finishing above companies including Apple, Nike, Google and Vitra.