The 70 cent ‘Ikea bag’ on sale for €1,695

French fashion house Balenciaga launches bag that looks just like the Swedish store’s hold-all

The Balenciaga Carry Shopper bag (left) which costs €1,695 and the Ikea Frakta bag (right) which retails at 70 cent in Ireland. Photographs: Balenciaga, Ikea

The Balenciaga Carry Shopper bag (left) which costs €1,695 and the Ikea Frakta bag (right) which retails at 70 cent in Ireland. Photographs: Balenciaga, Ikea

 

Mary Poppins was a woman who knew the importance of a big bag: hers could fit a coat rack, a mirror, a plant, a lamp, some shoes, a coat and a tape measure.

If ever there was a bag in real life that could fit a selection of household items, it’s the ubiquitous blue Ikea “Frakta” hold-all. Costing just 70 cents, it has carried  millions of tea lights and picture frames, finding a second life holding wellies and wetsuits and laundry in homes all over the world.

Imagine then, the confusion among fashionistas this week to realise that the French designer label Balenciaga has just launched a bag that looks suspiciously like the Ikea Frakta... apart from the €1,695 price tag.

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The bags share a number of striking similarities, from the bright blue material – recyclable plastic in the case of Ikea, “glazed leather” for Balenciaga – to the double-strap feature and large hold-all size.

Online, eagle-eyed fashion lovers had a field day.

The French fashion house hasn’t responded to the comparison, but Ikea is taking it in good humour, with a spokeman saying: “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!”

This isn’t the only item of this season’s Balenciaga collection to resemble other well-known items. Its Spring 2017 reworking of its cult puffer jacket reminds many of a lifejacket – again, one with a hefty price tag. You can buy it on Net-a-Porter for $2,525 (€2,358)

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