IKEA Canada recently launched a set of 10 Pride couches, also known as Pride Loveseats, in honor of Pride Month. The designs of the couches were inspired by the different pride flags. Each sofa is meant to represent a particular sexual identity.
The company has also released a video as part of its loveseat campaign featuring people who have inspired each design with their own story. The latest IKEA product has earned mixed reactions from the online community, with the bisexual pride inspired couch gaining the most attention.
IKEA’s bisexual loveseat comes with a combination of blue, pink and purple colors based on the bisexual pride flag. However, what apparently did not sit well with some people is the unusual bunch of 3D printed hands on the sofa along with a cushion that reads “Nobody Believes You.”
The bisexual couch has been designed by fashion designer Charlotte Carbone, a former winner of the Canadian reality show “Stitched.” The illustrator has also contributed to non-binary and gender-fluid sofas. The couch is based on Brian Lanigan’s account with the words on the backrest quoted from his poem.
Twitter reacts to IKEA Pride Loveseats with memes and mixed opinions
Following a string of opinions regarding the bisexual couch, Brian Lanigan, whose poem inspired the design, took to Twitter to explain the concept in detail. Lanigan is a Canadian poet and wrote the poem when he was in high-school.
He mentioned that the poem was inspired by the challenges he faced as a bisexual teenager:
“The line “when you change ‘or’ to ‘and’, nobody believes you” is from a poem I wrote in high school about bisexual erasure I experienced from an ex-partner and others.”
He further addressed the confusion regarding the inclusion of the hands on the sofa:
“I’m a spoken word poet and the hands are meant to represent the audience reaction, especially those of other bisexual folks who would approach me after performances and share their story with me.”
However, despite the explanation, the internet was left divided by their reactions. While some clearly expressed disappointment, specifically with the bisexual design, others were quite supportive of IKEA for their initiative.
Brian also took to Twitter to provide an explanation for the sharply criticized line on the bisexual couch:
Meanwhile, a large number of users were quick to turn the launch of IKEA Pride Loveseats into a proper memefest.
IKEA Canada Communications Director, Claudia Mayne, told Fast Company that the campaign has been established to “highlight diversity”:
“We wanted to do something that highlighted the diversity within the 2SLGBTQ+ community because there are so many identities that aren’t given as much space or attention during Pride, especially during COVID-19.”
Sofas included in IKEA’s loveseat campaign represent the lesbian flag, bisexual flag, asexual flag, pansexual flag, non-binary flag, genderfluid flag, 2Spirits flag, the progress pride flag and two versions of the transgender flag.
Designers Charlotte Carbone, Madison Van Rijin and Bianca Daniela Nachtman are reportedly part of the queer community while designer Ali Haider is an ally. However, none of the couches are available for sale as of now but will be placed on display in select Ikea stores.
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