Short of Swedish meatballs and Billy bookcases, the simple blue-and-yellow bag (technically known as the Frakta) might be IKEA's most iconic product. Debuting in 1996, more than 3 million Big Blues are sold annually in America alone. As of writing, they cost around $0.99 each, can carry up to 30 pounds of stuff without ripping, and are rated for about 1,000 trips.
Despite being possibly the best-selling tote bag on Earth, though, the Frakta isn't fashionable (though some would beg to differ). Previous attempts to give the Frakta a haute-couture overhaul have been fetching, but expensive. Now IKEA's getting into the game itself—tasking the Danish design brand Hay to redesign the Frakta and making it fashionable at a low price.
While the original Frakta bags are emblazoned all over with the IKEA logo, Hay's revised bags come without any obvious branding. The blue-and-yellow of the old Fraktas is gone, replaced with an understated forest green and white pattern, which Hay co-founder Mette Hay says were chosen because they will be "long-lasting" and never completely out of fashion. In addition, the crinkly polypropylene material is gone, replaced with a thin woven fabric.
The new bags should be available later this year, alongside the classic Fraktas. No price details have been announced for the new Frakta bag, though the material cost should be similar to other woven thin fabric totes you can pick up at stores and supermarkets. In other words, a little more expensive than $0.99, perhaps, but probably not more than a couple bucks apiece.
If you're one of the many, many, many people who give their Frakta bags a second life hauling around your laundry, carrying groceries, or carting your stuff to the beach, that slight premium will probably be worth it.