It’s almost time for Valentine’s Day, which seems to arrive earlier and earlier every year. (Target unveiled Valentine cards and candy on December 23rd!) But not all Valentine’s Day products involve candy, flowers, and cards. Ikea has decided to go in a different direction: a special collection for that special person in your life. The Swedish giant is teaming up with Bea Åkerlund, a fashion activist who is part stylist, costume designer, and all-around creative genius. Åkerlund has collaborated with many pop artists, like Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. The pieces she developed are infused with a cheeky dislike of Valentine’s Day, in recognition of the mixed emotions many people have about the holiday.
The new collection is called Omedelbar and it does include some of the traditional signifiers of Valentine’s Day, like red roses and red lips. However, Åkerlund adds a twisted, goth style to these signs. Her personal mantra has always been “B who you are” and that’s very evident in Omedelbar, which pokes a sharp stick in the eye of traditional Valentine’s Day marketing. She uses a glamour style to give the holiday a makeover. Don’t worry about buying a collection that is outdated as soon as February 15 rolls around. Unlike the Christmas tree and its accoutrements, the innovative collection is meant to be enjoyed throughout the year.
In the press release, Åkerlund said “‘B. WHO YOU ARE’ is about embracing yourself, no matter what the world thinks of you. It’s about individuality and creativity – two important cornerstones of Omedelbar.”
Åkerlund is inspired by the fashion world and has a great eye for fashion design, so many of the pieces are actually inspired by clothes and accessories: A pocket watch is enlarged to become a wall clock; a three-dimensional hand affixed to the wall becomes a jewelry holder; a gold crown is now a fun bowl; a top hat that looks like it could’ve been worn by the Mad Hatter is now a planter.
The 34-piece collection also includes plenty of references to red kissy lips, which is Åkerlund’s signature. A giant, black and white “B” with LED lights also refers to her mantra.
For those who love the goth look, a black duvet color will create a sensual style in the bedroom. A gold clothes rack and traditional valet stand will help dress up any room while providing extra ways to organize things.
Ikea was thrilled with the way Åkerlund combined her personal style with the Ikea aesthetic to create something that was highly specific, yet appealing to the typical Ikea customer.“It should speak to the many, but still be true to who I am,” said Åkerlund. “Looking at OMEDELBAR I feel like we’ve really accomplished that, as it contains items that I love and have been looking for myself. I’ve always had a clear vision of what this collection should be, from start to finish. And with it, I hope to inspire people to think outside the box, get them to take a risk and have fun, to purchase something they’d never expect to nd at IKEA. Simply put – get people to live a little!”