For years, streetwear fans have had to make do with bootleg versions of Ikea clothes, not least in Tokyo, where aficionados can often be spotted wearing unofficial brand T-shirts. There have been a few tantalising moments over the past five years, including the craze for bucket hats made out of Ikea’s iconic blue Frakta shopping bags, and Balenciaga’s 2017 Arena tote, which also looked suspiciously like the Frakta.
So it made sense that for Ikea’s first official streetwear collection, Efterträda, it turned to Tokyo’s Harajuku – the beating heart of street fashion, and a spiritual destination for streetwear fans browsing racks of plastic-wrapped Supreme goods. “For the furniture giant’s fashion debut, we had to go deep into the culture – authenticity was key to appealing to Tokyo’s discerning youth,” says Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo, the agency behind the clothing range idea.
The Efterträda range – named after the Swedish word for ‘successor’ – features staples including T-shirts, hoodies and towels, as well as umbrellas and tote bags, all emblazoned with the blue and yellow Ikea logo, as well as the barcode for the brand’s ubiquitous Billy bookcase. Shirts are made using sustainably sourced, organic cotton, and the umbrella is manufactured from recycled polyester – all in line with Ikea’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.
To spread the word, W+K Tokyo designed a new version of the brand’s much-loved catalogue, replacing its “squeaky clean showrooms and price tags” with a look inside the homes of young Tokyoites. The unusually candid shots feature various Japanese creatives, including musician Moeka Shiotsuka, photographer and model Kyohei Hattori, and Japan’s favourite virtual model, Imma. The digital influencer also helped launch Ikea’s Harajuku store as part of a storefront installation that showed her ‘living’ in the store for 72 hours, and demonstrated how Ikea’s products fit into small space living.
With Efterträda aimed at a younger audience, W+K Tokyo recreated the lookbook digitally and via Ikea Japan’s Instagram page – so streetwear fans could flick through the pages via social media – as well as launching a series of films exploring its cast of Tokyoites’ home lives.
Much like other brands’ forays into streetwear, the collection found instant popularity. Fashion publications around the world covered Efterträda’s release, and pieces from the range were snapped up and put on resale sites at vastly inflated prices. The campaign has certainly helped win cultural currency for the brand, which has also opened a store in Tokyo’s Shibuya with another in Shinjuku set to follow. Ikea and W+K Tokyo have also continued to tap into Japanese pop culture, most recently opening a flat-pack photobooth that lets users snap images in front of iconic Ikea products.
Category: Direct Marketing; Entered by: Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo
ECD: Scott Dungate
Creative Lead: Max Pilwat
Art Director/Designer: Shohei Kawada
Copywriters: Max Cameron, Haruto Murata
Head of Production: Kerli Teo
Agency Producers: Yoko Onodera, Ty Demura, Siyun Kim
Account Team: William Smith, Becky Levy, Naoko Okada, Chelsea Hayashi, Asako Takahashi
Strategic Planner: Hasse Lemola
Comms Planner: Justin Lam, Eri Hirose
Studio Manager: Aiwei Ichikawa
Translator: Toshiko Iida
Agency Editor: Jacob Kim
Photographer: Kisshomaru Shimamura
Stylists: Maiko Shibukawa, Bunta Shimizu, Kumiko Sannomaru
Hair & Makeup: Risako Yamamoto, Keita Iijima
Casting: Jun Hirayama (Neut Magazine)
Cast: Bunta Shimizu, imma, Kyohei Hattori, Moeka Shiotsuka, Nene, Hasse Lemola, Mai Ebine
Retouch: Daiichi Seihan
Special Thanks: Aww, inc, Takayuki Moriya, Yuna Hori, Shion Kimura