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Courtesy IKEA
Courtesy IKEA

IKEA announces a new collection in collaboration with nine Latin American creatives

To celebrate its arrival in South America, IKEA will launch a new collection next year highlighting the culture and traditions of some Latin American countries.

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One of the best ways to win over a new customer is to get closer to their culture, and IKEA is very clear about that. As it opens new stores in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, and prepares to open in new Latin American markets, including Chile, Colombia and Peru, the multinational Swedish furniture company will launch a new collection next year in collaboration with nine Latin American creators to celebrate Latin American heritage at home. 

"This collection is about amplifying and celebrating the talents of our collaborators ranging from a variety of creative fields including design, fashion, art, food and architecture," said Friso Wiersma, a designer at IKEA of Sweden. "We were curious to learn what happens when different traditions in culture, crafts and expressions are mashed-up with the young and avant-garde scene of design, fashion, food, architecture and art." 

The new collection, which will be released in 2023, will include products inspired by the way people in Latin America celebrate life and socialize around food and music — from a birthday party to First Communion — setting the mood for a good time.
 
"I hope people use them with this sense of putting their energy and story into the product so that everyone can make their own story with these pieces of design and art that we are creating," said Chilean muralist and multi-disciplinary artist Trini Guzman, one of the nine contributors to the new collection.  The first IKEA store in South America will open in Santiago, Chile on Aug. 10. 

Also from Chile are Catalina Zarhi, a ceramicist, architect Felipe Assadi, and product designer Abel Cárcamo Segovia, known for furniture that mixes contemporary trends with the traditional aesthetics of his country's artisans.

Another three collaborators are from Colombia — artist Diana Ordonez, a graffiti icon in Latin America, Alvaro Clavijo, a chef  from Bogotá, who studied cuisine in Barcelona and manages several restaurants in Bogota, where he takes traditional cuisine to a new level. Fashion designer Augustín Nicolás Rivero rounds out the trio, whose main goal is to explore and reinterpret Latin American craftsmanship.

"Most people, when they think of Latin America, immediately think of color. It's exuberant, joyful, fruitful...and yes, that's also very Latin American," he said, per a press release. "But where I come from, we're in the Andes. Here there is this calm, melancholic color palette that is not the usual thinking of people who imagine Latin America."

From Mexico, comes Liliana Ovalle, a product designer, whose designs reflect narratives that often draw on her Mexican background, referencing situations observed in the urban context and exploring vernacular craft techniques.

There is also Marisol Centeno, a Mexican textile designer who has produced work for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and the MUAC Museum, among others. Centeno is committed to the idea of design as an agent of change, a source of aesthetic, and social and cultural innovation. 

"In Mexico we like to celebrate and be together. Everything is a good occasion to get together. And our festivals and traditions are as diverse as our people. With this collaboration, I can share their story," said Centeno, designer and founder of the textile and handmade rug company Bi Yuu. 

 Growing up in Mexico City, one of  Centeno's earliest memories was her older sister's first communion, a Catholic tradition and rite of passage.

"It was the first real event for me that was a little more sophisticated, in a nice restaurant with waiters and special decor," she fondly recalled. "Most of the people invited were children, so we just played with some brooms and made a lot of noise. It was amazing. I had a lot of fun that day."

For the collaboration with IKEA, Marisol is especially inspired by another Mexican tradition: La Guelaguetza. It is a word, a concept and a colorful Zapotec festival celebrated by the Indigenous communities in the state of Oaxaca, where the artisans she works with for Bi Yuu are also based.

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