Saturday – 6:57 PM, my Instagram DM was notified. I have a message… a top-secret exclusive invite to something quite unprecedented.

The message was a private invite to Ikea’s most awaited collaboration of the year. The subject in question? Well.. it’s none other than Virgil Abloh’s Markerad collection, “items designed for the home environment” peek session. The instructions were simple: wait for the wrist band to heaven’s gate. I waited, and on Tuesday, at 5 PM… I received. 

The physical invite was clear, slick, and minimal… a true reflection of what to expect from both Ikea and Virgil to display, and in it was my wrist band. 

The event was to take place the next night, but it wasn’t at usual event hours. No, this was exclusive… only a few were selected to see this… and that was planned perfectly to happen between the hours of 10 and 12 PM the next night. 

So like Cinderella, sans pumpkin carriage, and mousy friends, I called upon my inner godmother and roamed my closet for the perfect insider outfit. 

I wanted to channel that infamous Swedish je ne sais quoi~ I wanted slickness in the form of effortless – but very well calculated pieces. I opted for my plain black linen pants and a half-sleeve light cotton black turtleneck t-shirt. Gold for accessories, Miu Miu flats, and I’m on the way.

“MARKERAD”- Swedish term meaning “Marked” in English- is a collection consisting of 13 pieces, each with what seems to be an Abloh signifier: orange design accents, quotation marks on some of the names rhetorically displaying the function of the piece… and a bold replacement of the iconic blue IKEA shopping bag with a brown tote looking one with the word “SCULPTURE” plastered across, and a few other similar ironic displays. 

In the heart of the self-serve area: music, late-night ice cream, and Markerad!

Xeina Almusallam