IKEA is known around the world for its affordable furniture and minimalist designs. But bold colors, outrageous prints, and funky shapes? Well, not so much — until now, that is. Through a new partnership with British pattern and textile designer Zandra Rhodes, IKEA is entering into the world of maximalism with an array of shiny golds, bright pinks, and squiggly shapes on its practical products.
The line, which launches at IKEA stores globally in September 2021, is named KARISMATISK (the Swedish word for “charismatic”) in celebration of Rhodes’ own confidence and charisma. And her personality clearly shines through: The 26-piece home collection is fabulously statement-making, complete with the designer’s signature loud, lively touch. “It’s been a wonderful adventure,” said Rhodes in a press release. “On a practical side, it’s been very exciting trying to translate the ‘Zandra Rhodes: World of Colour’ for the many people to have a bit of it.”
That’s not to detract from the collection’s usefulness, however. IKEA is and always has been about functionality, and KARISMATISK shares that ethos. Yes, there are ruffles and shine galore — but every piece is still affordable and purposeful. “When I am designing, I always have to ask myself ‘would I use this?’” explained Rhodes on her design process. “If you look at something and think that you wouldn’t wear it, or wouldn’t use it, then how would you expect someone else to want it?”
The launch is full of pieces that illustrate this well. The KARISMATISK Box, for example, is a $6.49 foldable piece that provides ample storage, but features sheer pink fabric and ruffles around the edge. There’s also a $59.99 room divider, which is covered in squiggly lines and fringe and offers an easy way to section off a space. Though possibly the best illustration is the new FRAKTA bag: a fresh take on the iconic blue IKEA tote, complete with a “flamboyant” fuchsia hue and plenty of frills. “It is playful and functional and the color pop of pink adds an extra Zandra accent!” said Rhodes.
Yes, there’s no doubt that KARISMATISK is thoroughly rooted in Rhodes’ aesthetic and IKEA’s practicality. However, the collection is also made up of a host of trends that make it an especially timely one, as well. The homewares feature a blend of ‘70s- and ‘80s-inspired prints (stars), shapes (squiggles), and shades (bright blues and pinks), many of which are being revived today en masse. Smaller trends, like graphic rugs and sculptural vases, are also scattered throughout.
KARISMATISK is destined to be a hit — few would be surprised if it’s an instant sell-out. So mark your calendars for its global launch in September, and get ready to embrace your maximalist side.