Iconic Ikea tote bag gets a high-fashion makeover

The Balenciaga Arena Shopper Tote bears a striking resemblance to Ikea's iconic Frakta bag, with one notable difference: price. Twitter

In a move that has many people scratching their heads, luxury French fashion house Balenciaga has created a leather tote that looks like an upscale version of the $1 Ikea Frakta shopping bag.

Balenciaga’s version is made from crinkled leather and features the same double short and long handles the Ikea shopper has. The upscale version is finished off with a discreet gold “Balenciaga Paris” stamp, unlike the DIY furniture store’s loud branding along the handles.

Oh, and there’s one other difference: price. Balenciaga’s bag clocks in at US$2,145 for the extra-large version, and $1,765 for the large.

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Understandably, social media users have been having a field day with this new fashion product.

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For their part, Ikea is taking this “homage” in stride. Company spokesperson Emil Eriksson said to The Local: “The durable Ikea Frakta bag for five kronor is an appreciated product that has been in our range for many years and we know that the bag is used in many different ways in our customers’ everyday life. We think it is flattering that others can be inspired by the form and function of the Frakta bag.”

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Never ones to pass up a marketing opportunity, however, the beloved Swedish brand is using this fresh burst of PR to promote their iconic bag.

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Trans: This spring’s it bag is here! Sometimes it’s easy to keep up with the world of fashion. Ours is 19,995 kronor cheaper, however.

Of course, fashion is famous for taking inspiration from everyday items and elevating them to couture status. In 2007, Louis Vuitton famously created a luxury version of the plaid plastic carryalls used by migrant workers in China.

Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2007. Chris Moore/Catwalking/Getty Images

The luxury house’s version came in leather with a large insignia stamped on its side and retailed for roughly US$1,000.

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