Just a few months ago, Balenciaga made headline news when one of their bags looked just like the blanket bag that can be found at Mustafa Centre or a pasar malam.

Another Balenciaga bag now draws inspiration from Ikea, with a design that looks a lot like the furniture giant’s Frakta shopping bag.


The Arena extra-large shopper tote is a giant bag made of “blue wrinkled, glazed leather” and has a “gold-stamped logo”.

Like the Ikea reusable tote, it has a pair of short handles and a pair of long ones.

The plastic Ikea version costs $0.99, Balenciaga’s made-in-Italy version goes for US$2,145 (S$2,996) on Barney’s website.


There is a black version that costs US$1,765 on the website.

For the same price, you could also buy an Ikea wardrobe, or two, to store the bag in.

The luxury brand has been relentless in pushing out bag designs that look suspiciously like expensive copies of cheap, throwaway bags.

But the tactic is working because despite the ridicule, its earlier creations like the Bazar Shopper Tote and Blanket Square have reportedly sold well.

The lambskin Blanket Square looks like the PVC bags used to house thick, floral-patterned blankets, while the Bazar Shopper Tote is a leather version of large market bags commonly seen at street markets.

Will the French brand bag fashionistas again or has it recycled this concept one too many times?

Twitter, at the very least, is all over it.

Images: Barneys, Ikea
Text: Chew Hui Min / The Straits Times / April 2017
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