Atlanta Promo Crazy News About Promotional Products & Branded Clothing

Crazy News

By: Brendan Menapace

Cheerios tried (unsuccessfully) to trademark the color yellow. | Credit: Wikimedia Commons by Bryce Mohan

We've been covering trademark issues for a while now, and have seen some interesting cases. Most notably, the Supreme Court's decision to allow the band The Slants to trademark its name (despite potentially offending Asian people) has opened the door for the likes of the Washington Redskins to reserve trademarks for controversial things. It's also allowed people to trademark hate speech in an effort to keep it out of the wrong hands.

But this latest case isn't about hate speech, putting stripes in a certain order, or even people like Gene Simmons trying to trademark a combination of fingers being held up.

This case is about Cheerios trying (and failing) to trademark yellow.

Last week, the U.S. trademark court office denied the General Mills cereal brand's appeal to claim ownership over the color yellow. This has been a two-year-long battle for Cheerios.

In the ruling, judge Anthony R. Masiello said that Cheerios can't trademark yellow because of how common it is for other brands to use yellow in their packaging. He specifically used other cereal brands as examples, since they pretty much all use bright colors to attract potential customers.

Conversely, Cheerios itself didn't even always use yellow! According to Quartz, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board correctly pointed out that Cheerios used all kinds of colors for its various packaging.

"We are not persuaded that customers perceive the Applicant's proposed mark, the color yellow alone, as indicating the source of Applicant's goods," Masiello wrote, according to Quartz.

Masiello is absolutely right here. We can think of at least five things that are also yellow that aren't Cheerios boxes:

Credit: Quartz

  • Big Bird
  • The Sun
  • Tennis balls
  • The Beatles' submarine home
  • Horrible San Diego Padres throwback uniforms

But this isn't a competition to see who can name the most yellow things. The counter-argument against Cheerios' claim that the color yellow was solely used by Cheerios in the cereal world was pretty simple. They showed this image of other cereal boxes that were, well, also yellow.

So, while Cheerios may be an institution in itself by this point, this ruling shows that huge brands can't completely create monopolies when it comes to trademarking words or colors.

By: Joseph Myers

2017 has yielded numerous significant popular culture anniversaries, but it has definitely not found itself falling short in marking notable historical occurrences, too. Often lost in the latter because of the far-reaching severity that the other events hold, the centennial celebration of Finland’s declaration of independence from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic nonetheless has bred immense pride among inhabitants of the Nordic land. Eager to acknowledge the daring nature of the breakaway individuals who established the desired autonomy and to prove likewise venturesome, albeit on a far less global scale, Finlandia last week issued a beer mug and wine glass made from cheese, guaranteeing revelers not only a novel way to celebrate but also a means to up their calcium intake.

The Parsippany, N.J.-based company operates as a subsidiary of Helsinki’s Valio Ltd., which bills the chief component of its products as "the purest milk in the world." The Garden State entity, holding that its "master craftsmen are relentless in the pursuit of taste perfection with no room for shortcuts or compromise," proved their hires’ ingenuity December 6, relying on food sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton to form a gruyere beer mug and a gouda wine glass. Those who fought for Finland’s freedom paid for their efforts through blood, sweat and tears, and, 100 years later, admirers of their diligence and cheese lovers alike parted with $5,000 to secure the one-day-only promotional products that bore Finland’s flag.

Gruyere and gouda helped two food sculptors to make cheese lovers very happy. (Image via Finlandia)

We have all heard about having our cake and eating it, too, so these creations gave Finlandia poetic license to replace the baked good with "drinkware." Per the Canadian Diary Information Centre, among European Union country dwellers, only Danes outdo Finns as cheese consumers, so it made perfect sense for Finlandia to rely on the cultural staple as an anniversary tie-in.

"To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finland, we wanted to create something symbolic that is a gesture to the dozens of Finnish family-owned farms who have dedicated over 110 years of passion and dedication to making some of the world’s very best cheeses," Marcie Foster, Finlandia’s director of marketing and brand development, said.

In doing so, the award-winning company offered not only 16- and eight-ounce holders but also a reminder that no matter how many textbooks and online sources include accounts of an event, executing a unique idea that pays homage to sacrifices and successes can really resonate with an audience. With respect to Finlandia, it looks as if the cheese-centric commemoration will go a long "whey" toward helping it spread its brand’s name. In a field where innovation is key, I think we should all drink to this promotional concept’s implementation.

By: Brendan Menapace

Elon Musk is enigmatic to say the least. He's one of those incredibly rich guys who almost seems like a cartoon character. Everything he does is over the top because, well, he can. He's been compared to Tony Stark, the gazillionaire techie who splits his time as Iron Man, thanks to his humanitarian efforts and ambitious projects across the world.

After announcing his plan to save Los Angeles from the horrors of highway traffic through a system of tunnels, his Boring Company released a line of headwear to promote it.

It sold like freakin' hotcakes, and continues to sell big online.

CNBC reported that the Boring Company (seriously, Musk has to be aware of the silliness of this name) sold 50,000 hats, which were priced at $20 a pop. That alone brought in $1 million.

As if the official sales numbers weren't enough to indicate that Musk's disciples are really stoked on the Boring Company, they've been selling on the likes of eBay for more than $100. One guy is even selling one supposedly signed by Musk himself, and is asking for $9,999.99.

That's crazy, right? You know what's even crazier? The other Boring product that was a hot sell and is an even hotter sell on re-sale sites. (You'll get this joke in a second. Wait for it.)

Flamethrowers!

For real—actual flamethrowers. You've likely heard about this by now, but Musk and co. sold a real flamethrower online. Technically, because of the no-fun law, they had to rebrand it as "not a flamethrower," but, c'mon.

They also come with a "boring" fire extinguisher. (The man's Twitter game is next level, people.)

The original run of 20,000 sold out pretty much immediately. With a price tag of $500, that brought in about $10 million for the Boring Company.

If you had told me before that Elon Musk's greatest promotional fundraising effort would include hats and flamethrowers, I'd tell you you were crazy. The hat part seems pretty normal, but to say that hats alone brought in $1 million of an $11 million effort is impressive even for a guy like Musk.

Here's where the real genius of this whole thing comes into play: You've likely never seen a Boring Company commercial, nor have you ever seen a Tesla Motors commercial. That's because, outside of a fan-made commercial contest last year, there really aren't any commercials other than seeing products in action.

Heck, yesterday they launched the Tesla Roadster into space on Musk's Space X Falcon Heavy.

You could argue on the surface that it was just a fun stunt, and you'd be 100 percent right. The man launched his own car into space with a mannequin listening to Bowie because he could. You're darn tootin' that's fun. But it's also a really great commercial without being a commercial. What did you see when you turned on that live stream? The Tesla logo (and a well-placed "Hitchhiker's Guide" reference) peering out over the Earth from the vastness of space. Space!

Between flamethrowers, "manned" space travel in electric cars and, well, hats, Musk and his various business ventures are absolutely changing the game for promotional advertising, and showing the possibilities of how to do it in the 21st century. They're obviously reaching audiences and building brand visibility, the sales numbers proved that, along with the resale value.

Take note. Some of these seem like a horrible idea. Unless…

By: Brendan Menapace

Ikea's new print ad in Sweden includes a pregnancy test where women can, well, you know how home pregnancy tests work...

"Peeing on this ad may change your life," the ad says.

Not only will the print ad, which appears in women's magazine Amelia, provide life-changing information, there is still a pecuniary incentive for expecting readers. If they find out that they are, in fact, pregnant by peeing on the magazine ad, they'll get a discount on a crib from Ikea.

The ad, which was a collaboration between Ikea and Mercene labs, works like this:

The pregnancy test strip uses antibodies that bind to the pregnancy hormone hCG, which causes it to change color. For the print ad itself, Mercene Labs developed a surface with active materials.

Ikea wants you to pee on this ad and if you’re pregnant, it'll give you a discount on a crib

Adweek called it "the coolest pee-based advertising since Animal Planet put urine-scented ads at the bottom of lampposts to attract dogs (whose owners then saw a larger ad at their own eye level promoting a dog award show)."

This is a pretty crazy gimmick, but it's also extremely effective. Expecting mothers who might be reading Amelia will see this ad, and know they're already in a group eligible for a discounted crib. And hey, maybe some women in Sweden will get some good news while doing a little reading, too.

Aside from this particular use, this kind of technology could pave the way for more interactive print advertising. Thin about potential clients in industries like healthcare, safety and more.

Hopefully they remove this page before reading the rest of the magazine, though. Print magazines are important!

By: Hannah Abrams

Ah, Taco Bell. Is there anything that brightens up Taco Tuesday more than your Cheesy Gordita Crunch? Ordinarily, we'd say stick to doing what you're good at, because it's so good, but after hearing this news, we're pretty excited Taco Bell is expanding into other arenas. The fast food giant is the latest company to throw its hat into the merchandising arena, according to a press release.

Taco Bell is teaming up with Forever 21 for a new apparel collection. (Image via Forever 21)

Following in the footsteps of KFC and McDonald's, Taco Bell is launching a clothing line with Forever 21 that promises to be "hotter than Diablo Sauce." The clothing line features a millennial pink sweatshirt embroidered with the "Live Mas" logo, and a tank top designed to imitate a fire sauce packet.

These are the only two pieces that we've gotten a sneak peak at, but those are enough to get us excited. Taco Bell says the full collection will include shirts, bodysuits, cropped and regular hoodies, sweatshirts and anorak jackets.

In preparation for the collection to drop, Taco Bell and Forever 21 are hosting a party in Los Angeles on Oct. 10, in which attendees are encouraged to share photos and videos on social media with the tag #F21xTacoBell. The collection will then launch in stores and online on Oct. 11.

Who will be the next fast food chain to create its own merchandise line? I'm looking at you, Popeyes!

By: Brendan Menapace

Kim Kardashian has never been one to shy away from conflict when it comes to her merchandise lines. Back in April, Kardashian was under scrutiny for selling weed-themed candles depicting her as the Virgin Mary.

Weed-themed candles are one thing, but you wouldn't expect back-to-school items to be hotbeds of controversy, right? Right?

Wrong.

Critics are slamming Kardashian's "kimoji" back-to-school line because of its overt sexual tones, inappropriate images and more.

Some of the items are fairly tame, like a T-shirt with a wave emoji on it. Others (most others), are a bit over the top, like a pin that says "send nudes," a phone case with middle fingers all over it and a USB phone charger shaped like Kardashian's butt.

And that's really just scraping the surface of the line.

This retro lunch box is seriously one of the only products we could show on this site. | Credit: Kimoji

According to WJLA, however, no one under the age of 18 can purchase the items. But even still, we can't imagine many high schools that would allow seniors to wear a hat that says "Still drunk from yesterday," or a college classroom where one could get away with using a pen depicting the nude (albeit barely censored) Kardashian.

"Sorry honey, I don't want my kids having a butt on their backpack," one parent said, according to WJLA. "And besides that, the pack is ugly."

"These are horrible!" one Twitter user said. "People actually buy this stuff?"

By: Brendan Menapace

When we say that this bag from Lululemon makes a statement, we don't mean something like "This bag shows that I enjoy athletic activity and stylish apparel." No. This bag says "That sunblock that you're putting on your body is seeping in and quietly destroying you, and you should plan for your own eventual downfall in life."

So, why has Lululemon taken this strangely anti-sunblock and nihilistic approach?

Shoppers at Lululemon are aware of the bags they get upon purchase, which feature messages like "Friends are more important than money" or "Do one thing a day that scares you." Those are great, positive messages! Those are the ones we notice first, thanks to the big text at least. But, according to Marie Claire, one Reddit user looked at the fine print on their bag and noticed a message that said, "Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine."

What? There's plenty of scientific evidence to dispute this claim.

Credit: Reddit

Before consumers could even process that strange, pro-sunburn sentiment, they'll notice it says, "Visualize your eventual demise."

Again, what? That's pretty grim, Lululemon. I just came here for some T-shirts and socks, not to ponder my own mortality.

According to Teen Vogue, the company clarified the message by saying, "The manifesto design that goes on our bags is a collection of statements that are ever-evolving and intended to spark conversation that is relevant at the time. To clarify, the manifesto design on our webpage is the most up-to-date and has been used on our most recent release of manifesto print bags."

So, what we can settle on here: Lululemon is going through some stuff, apparently, and wants us to know about it. We're all for messages that provoke intelligent conversation and bring about potentially controversial ideas, but this seems just bad for business.

By: Joseph Myers

History abounds with cases that have kept detectives and law enforcement officials working around the clock to secure justice, with each lead and credible shred of evidence seemingly giving the matters their entire attention. For every high-profile incident, though, there are surely ample occasions where the questionable antics of alleged aggressors and supposed ne'er-do-wells make their professions a tad less stressful. It appears civil servants from Tennessee have recently had a chance to explore the latter variety, as they busted a man who allegedly tried, while wearing a polo shirt from a county sheriff's office, to secure an inmate's release.

Scott Ronald Dorris supposedly wore this polo shirt to try to free a Tennessee prisoner. (Image via the Wilson County Sheriff's Office Facebook page)

Authorities announced on Tuesday the firing of a Macon County correctional officer, stating that the unidentified female had sold her official uniform top to an unnamed individual. Their investigation contends that the garment somehow found its way into the hands (and over the chest) of Scott Ronald Dorris. On August 7, the 54-year-old Macon County inhabitant reportedly ventured to the Wilson County Sheriff's Office in the polo and presented documentation that called for him to leave with Richard Wayne Bohanan, serving time since December for a drug conviction, among other offenses.

While the uniform was a legitimate part of trying to execute the supposed ploy, fake paperwork doomed the scheme, with police detaining Dorris shortly afterward. Having possibly hoped to spring Bohanan loose, the defendant now occupies the Wilson County jail with him. Sources have not documented what connection the two have, but that will likely become clearer, as Dorris—held on $200,000 bond—will appear in court August 22. What is evident is that the now-jobless woman in the middle of this peddled her polo for $10.

"It's sad to say, but you tell these correctional officers that these people will play you," Macon County Sheriff Mark Gammons said of the ex-employee. "They'll try to get what they can out of you, and it seems they don't listen."

His office is working with peers from Wilson County to learn how the shirt ended up with Dorris, whom they charged with criminal attempt to facilitate an escape and criminal impersonation of a police officer. Gammons noted he is seeking to press charges against the former hire, too.

As for what possessed the woman to part with her job attire, for which she must surely have been accountable, one can volunteer a number of opinions. Until the office takes official steps against her, though, the exact reason will remain buttoned up.

By: Brendan Menapace

This was the day that Americans all over the country are staring directly into the sun to see the solar eclipse. Just kidding. Hopefully, they all have protective eyewear. As we reported before, NASA made sure to warn eclipse viewers that improper protection could result in vision damage. But NASA didn't make sure to warn people against spelling errors on said eyewear.

Colorado State University gave out 50,000 eclipse glasses for burgeoning scientists to check out the celestial phenomenon, according to KOA News Radio. The problem is that it spelled "science" wrong. (We guess that's why they're not teaching in the English department.)

Regardless of the spelling error, the college donated about 30,000 of them to the local Poudre School District, and 20,000 will go to people on CSU's campus. In that case, it provides a valuable lesson in spelling and proofreading in addition to a lesson in space science.

By: Brendan Menapace

The University of Alabama is threatening to sue former Fox Sports personality Clay Travis after his website, Outkick the Coverage, started selling a T-shirt referencing Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The shirt, which says "Aloha B*tches," was also used by Travis to commemorate Hawaiian quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Following Alabama's (and Tagovailoa's) appearance in the national title game, the university sent Travis a four-page letter threatening to sue if he didn't stop selling the shirt, claiming that people would think the university had licensed the shirt officially. The university also claimed that the red "A" on the shirt was too much like the cursive "A" the university trademarked for its own athletics and merchandising identities, according to The Big Lead.

Travis, who has never been one to shy away from controversy, responded by tweeting a link to buy the shirt, and thanked the university "for the free publicity for all our delightful [Outkick the Coverage] products."

He also posted a response on his website:

The A on our shirt is definitely not the Alabama A that you have trademarked and copyrighted, it is just a cursive A.

Moreover no one thinks an Outkick shirt is licensed by Alabama. Certainly not one that was expressly made because we have been selling “Aloha, b*tches,” shirts in honor of Marcus Mariota for over a year on the site.

Is it your contention that Alabama controls the use of all cursive letter A’s on all shirts? Would you like to design and email the site a cursive A that would be permissible to use? I’d be interested to see your version and would be potentially willing to change our A to one you deem more appropriate if it works on the shirt.

If you’d like us to add a disclaimer that says the shirts aren’t licensed or endorsed by Alabama—or publish your letter on Outkick saying the same—I’m happy to do that as well.

But, as a lawyer who has worked in trademark and copyright law, I’m not sure what claim you guys have here. You don’t have a copyright on our cursive version of the letter A or any claim on the phrases used on the shirt.

Let me know if you’d like me to add language on the page saying Alabama isn’t involved in any way with the T-shirts. Or if you’d like me to publish your letter on the site saying the same. Or if you intend to send me an acceptable cursive A for the T-shirts.

It's snarky, but he's got a point. Alabama certainly has the rights to its own style of cursive A, but it doesn't have the rights to every cursive A.

Though copyright disputes, especially those relating to college sports or athletes, can be tricky, this seems like a fairly open-and-shut case.

By: Hannah Abrams

Duke University is dealing with two instances of a player's likeness being sold illegally. | Credit: greensboro.com

Perhaps you've heard the phrase, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" It's Latin for "Who can watch the watchmen?" (And, it's also referenced in "Watchmen" and "Star Trek," but that's a topic for another day.) In the news today, however, we are grappling with the question of who can counterfeit the counterfeiters. At least, that's an issue Duke University is trying to solve in regards to unauthorized basketball T-shirts.

Duke University freshman basketball player Marvin Bagley III's family decided to bring their own handmade T-shirts to Saturday's basketball game. The T-shirts featured Bagley's likeness, and according to the Greensboro News and Record, they were a huge hit. So much so that an online retailer started selling the same designs on shirts, mugs, phone cases and hoodies.

Because this online retailer has no ties to Duke or the family, neither sees any of those profits. Bagley's father, Marvin Bagley Jr., expressed his anger over the reproductions on his Facebook page.

“THESE CROOKS on this website tried to copy my shirt and ILLEGALLY profit on my son’s name, image, and likeness!" he wrote. "PLEASE DON’T BUY THIS BS that’s attached to this link!!"

This all seems simple enough—this retailer shouldn't be able to profit off a college basketball player without the family's permission, but it's not as simple as that. NCAA rules prohibit athletes and their families from profiting off the player's likeness, so what Bagley's family did in the first place was actually illegal.

Credit: greensboro.com

It looks like Duke University is aware of the problem, and is in the process of stopping all production and sales. It's safe to assume that means the university will also stop Bagley's family from selling the T-shirts, but Bagley's father seems to disagree, according to another Facebook post.

In this case, we've got two counterfeiters. Even though one of them is Bagley's actual family, they are also operating an illegal business. We will see what Duke University decides to do in this case, but it's definitely a unique scenario.

By: Joseph Myers

The Cleveland Browns will look to sustain the momentum from their perfect preseason run. (Image via Twitter)

With the recent success that the Cavaliers and Indians have enjoyed, national sports fans could easily declare there must be something special in Cleveland’s water supply. Unfortunately, Ohio residents have long been able to say that the liquid has failed to further the fortunes of their beloved Browns, who have not made the playoffs since 2002. Coming off a 1-15 campaign, the gridiron performers are looking to part with their status as the National Football League’s doormats and have many believing they can surprise a few folks thanks to a 4-0 preseason mark that inspired T-shirt companies to commemorate their undefeated slate.

Here in Philadelphia, the Browns last year served as the season-opening foe for the Eagles and then-rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. They looked utterly terrible in a 29-10 setback, so, knowing of their frequent futility, I casually followed them throughout their slog. What a test that proved! They found themselves in some close games, but they could notch only a Christmas Eve win over the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers. Fast forward eight months, though, and maybe, just maybe the Browns could be ready to join their city’s sporting brethren as contenders or, in the very least, come close to achieving a winning record, something their supports have not seen since 2007.

Preseason contests rarely reveal much about how clubs will fare when the snaps count, but that did not stop fashion entities from comically addressing the flawless journey, which the Browns completed Thursday by playing hostile guests in a 25-0 cakewalk over the Chicago Bears. Based on my bias regarding the exhibition games, I definitely dub Erie Apparel’s "Preseason Champs: Simply the Best… When It Matters the Least" offering as my favorite. Like that garment, the other tops, from such industry presences as Fresh Brewed Tees and The Ohio Apparel Company, do not have "Cleveland Browns" printed on them because of league licensing limitations, but even casual followers of professional pigskin franchises will know the shirts’ intended honorees.

"A year ago, we were 0-4, so these guys came back with a different mentality," second-year head coach Hue Jackson said of his athletes. "We understand it’s just the preseason, but you’ve got to start someplace. They accomplished something that hadn’t been done in 31 years, which is [to] be 4-0, and that’s a credit to them."

Indeed, the last Browns incarnation to thwart all of its August adversaries was the 1986 team that advanced to the American Football Conference Championship Game after a 12-4 regular season. It is unrealistic to think this year’s bunch will register a dozen wins, but Jackson’s charges should be more competitive. I wonder how much faith I have in that sentence, as I have never heard of any of the four quarterbacks listed on their roster and know only of Kenny Britt because he is a fossil, fellow wide received Josh Gordon for his substance abuse policy violations and defensive lineman Myles Garrett, who received my pity in April when he became the top pick in the Philadelphia-held draft.

My editorializing aside, the Browns have a passionate fan base, with the bleacher section shouters known as the Dawg Pound, and they will need to rely on that undying affection from their zealots, many of whom took to Twitter to join in on the humor surrounding the T-shirts’ production, to be a force in the AFC North. The division contains the Pittsburgh Steelers, against whom they will open the season on Sunday, and the Baltimore Ravens, who also went undefeated in preseason play. Come New Year’s Eve, when they will take on the Steelers again, the Browns might not be competing for a playoff berth, but even if that is the case, they can proudly proclaim, "At least we had August."

By: Hannah Abrams

Unless you’ve avoided all social media and news programming for the past 24 hours, you probably heard about Covfefe. And if you haven’t, it’s not a new Starbucks drink—it’s actually a word whose origins remain unknown, aside from the fact that President Donald Trump tweeted it early Wednesday:

 

(Image via CNN)

 

Because there was no explanation offered on what “covfefe” actually meant, or whether it was truly a typo, the internet decided to have its own fun with the new word.

As a result, internet memes everywhere erupted, and the final step of the internet’s joyride is, of course, merchandise.

Here’s a roundup of the most popular products:

 

 

1. Covfefe Hat 

 

 

2. Negative Press Mug 

 

 

3. Starbucks T-shirt 

 

 

4. Baby Bodysuit 

 

 

5. Definition Tee 

 

 

6. Covfeve Mug 

By: Brendan Menapace

Remember how Balenciaga, the high-end fashion brand, was selling bags that looked crazy-similar to Ikea’s plastic blue shopping bags for more than $2,000? Well, in case you need a refresher, here’s our story on it. Ikea cut right to the chase by addressing the humor of selling a knock-off of a 99 cent bag for two-grand, and issued a statement helping confused customers tell the difference.

The Swedish furniture giant and meatball vendor (the real story is 50 cent hot dogs, but we digress) gave detailed instructions for how to tell the difference:

  1. Shake it. If it rustles, it’s the real deal.
  2. Multifunctional. It can carry hockey gear, bricks and even water.
  3. Throw it in the dirt. A true FRAKTA is simply rinsed off with a garden hose when dirty.
  4. Fold it. Are you able to fold it to the size of a small purse? If the answer is yes, congratulations.
  5. Look inside. The original has an authentic Ikea tag.
  6. The price tag. Only $0.99.

Johan Holmgren, creative director at Ikea’s ad agency partner Acne, said he worked quickly after they saw news of the expensive impostor.

"I wanted to act fast, so I called Morten Kjaer from Ikea Creative Hub," he told Adweek. "The day after the Balenciaga bag was launched, I said, ‘We’ll have the creative work ready within two hours.’ We then went to one of our fashion photographers, Anders Kylberg, and shot the bag in his studio, with that same feeling and lighting as the Balenciaga bag. That same day, we sent the finished work to all markets."

Holmgren called Baleciaga’s mockery a "flirt," and said he thought, "Why not flirt back?"

Ikea, in the spirit of always keeping it simple, said, "We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the Ikea iconic, sustainable, blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great, big, blue bag."

By: Brendan Menapace

So, remember how that high-end fashion company made a bag that looked frighteningly similar to IKEA’s blue shopping bags? Also, you might remember that IKEA had a really great response to the subject, too. Well,it seems the fact that its plastic shopping bags are now considered high fashion has gone to the Swedish furniture company’s head.

Fun fact: “Head” in Swedish is “huvud.”

But that’s neither here nor there. The real story here is that IKEA’s big blue bag is getting a fancy redesign by Off-White founder and designer Virgil Abloh, according to The Fashion Spot.

IKEA announced the partnership on Instagram:

He also said the bag will be influenced by “that first phase of adult life, when you start making purchases for your space.”

Would anyone have guessed that a single, seemingly uninteresting tote bag would reach this level of acclaim and popularity? It really goes to show how an item’s functionality and recognizable branding can make a huge difference.