Meet the Chinese designer making pollution masks out of Ikea bags

Meet the Chinese designer making pollution masks out of Ikea bags
An Ikea bag turned into a pollution mask. Photo: Zhijun Wang
A Chinese designer has explained to The Local why he was inspired to use everyday blue Ikea bags to make pollution masks similar to the one worn by sinister Batman villain "Bane".

The bags, normally used to carry home household purchases from the Swedish furniture giant's stores, became an unlikely fashion phenomenon earlier this year when designer brand Balenciaga launched a new high-end product that looked suspiciously like Ikea's plain old crinkly blue bag.

READ ALSO: Balenciaga's new bag looks suspiciously like something from Ikea

That inspired enthusiasts to re-purpose the Ikea bags into a variety of accessories and items of their own including caps, boots and jackets. Zhijun Wang from China decided to offer his unique take on the craze inspired by what he does best: pollution masks.

“I saw fashion articles about the Balenciaga tote bag then found several Frakta bags in my home. I decided to make something special with what I'm good at – the mask,” he told The Local.

 

The only one piece.

A post shared by Zhijun Wang (@zhijunwang) on Jun 21, 2017 at 5:58pm PDT

Previously a graphic designer for Saatchi and Saatchi, Wang has been making similar masks out of sneakers since 2014. One of them sold for more than $5,000 on Ebay, so his work has clearly found a niche, and he applied the same principles to the Ikea version.

“I designed a new template for this work. I've finished over 40 examples of sneaker masks from various styles of sneakers, so I have experience combining the key points in the details,” the mask maker explained.

Comparisons have been made between the Ikea mask and the one worn by Batman villain Bane in Christopher Nolan's “The Dark Knight Rises”, which Wang admitted he found “quite funny”.

 

Bane??#banebatman #male #oscurità

A post shared by Dado ? VLLBLVCK? (@davide_dp99) on Apr 1, 2017 at 10:20am PDT

As for whether Ikea may consider a mass run of the flat-pack masks: the designer said the Swedish furniture firm has yet to get in touch.