Lady Gaga stylist Bea Akerlund in creative Colaboration with IKEA

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A stunning design colab.

Uber stylist to the stars Bea Åkerlund has shifted her creative gaze from creating some of the most iconic celebrity looks of the 21st century to creating some equally iconic looking furniture and homewares for IKEA. Åkerlund’s fashion styling cred includes the costume design in Lady Gaga‘s Paparazzi film clip, Madonna‘s Super Bowl outfit, and the yellow dress in Beyonce’s Lemonade.

 This move by Åkerlund and IKEA is the continuation of a trend for low cost retailers to collaborate with high profile creatives to bring high-end design to the people (think Stella McCartney & Target,).

“I come from a fashion background, so when I was approached by IKEA I wanted to bring to life what I do and create pieces that were clothing that can become furniture,” says Åkerlund of the collaboration at IKEA’s Democratic Design Day in Älmhult.

“I’m a costume designer and I like to think I create from the bottom up. I like a theme and I like to create a story in everything I do. With IKEA I wanted to create a story of Bea Åkerlund and I think you see that in my collection because it’s part of me. It has all of me in it.”

The range reflects Åkerlund’s signature style and shapes – like the top hat-shaped glass bowl – but also reflects her equally styled personal brand. You need look no further than the lip-shaped cushion to see Åkerlund’s personal stamp.

The business value of good design

This collection and the greater trend it is part of sees the continuing rise in recognition of the commercial value of good design and those designers who are able to deliver it. For the last 30 years, the launch and evolution of the Mac, Adobe software and the internet has seen the democratisation of design to the point where every man and his Apple have been calling themselves designers, muddying the waters between good design and desktop publishing, undermining the true value of design.

Finally we’re at the inevitable tipping point where a generation of business owners, marketers and consumers are realizing that there’s a distinct difference between design produced by the bottom of the market and that created by the cream at the top. More importantly they are recognising that good design is good for creating better product, attracting more and better customers, and creating a healthier, more sustainable and valuable business.

Cheers to Bea and her beautiful designs. I’ll see you at IKEA.

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Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Omedelbar will be in Australian IKEA stores in 2018.
Photos courtesy IKEA

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