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Posted: April 19, 2017

Balenciaga's $2,145 bag bears striking resemblance to Ikea's 99-cent tote, Ikea responds


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By Joy Johnston, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Is an Italian fashion designer's bag an example of high fashion or is it a high-priced homage to Ikea's iconic shopping totes?

Consumers on Twitter were the first to point out the striking resemblance between Balenciaga's Arena tote bag and the Scandinavian discount furniture retailer's shopping bags.

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Both bags are extra large, have a similar shape and are blue in color. One big difference is cost: Balenciaga's bag costs $2,145 from Barneys New York; Ikea's tote bag costs 99 cents.

For the record, Balenciaga's bag is made of "glazed leather," while Ikea's is made of recyclable plastic.

AdWeek reported that Acne, Ikea’s ad agency partner, responded to the high-priced bag with a print ad in the form of a social media post that  showed how to tell the difference between its bag and Balenciaga.

“I wanted to act fast, so I called Morten Kjaer from Ikea Creative Hub. He loved the idea,” Johan Holmgren, creative director at Acne said. “The day after the Balenciaga bag was launched, I said, ‘We’ll have the creative work ready within two hours.’ We then went to one of our fashion photographers, Anders Kylberg, and shot the bag in his studio, with that same feeling and lighting as the Balenciaga bag. That same day, we sent the finished work to all markets.”

Balenciaga hasn't commented on the issue, but according to CNN, an Ikea spokesperson said the company was flattered by the resemblance between its shopping bags and Balenciaga's bag, noting, “Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!”


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