IKEA Canada has unveiled a series of colorful couches inspired by different Pride flags, including those representing the transgender, nonbinary and asexual communities.
Created to mark Pride Month, the 10 “Love Seats” were created by four LGBTQ designers and feature everything from gigantic ruffles to colorful patters and faux flowers.
The Swedish retailer said in a press release that it hopes the campaign will honor “the richness and diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community,” using an expanded acronym that encompasses those identifying as two-spirit, an Indigenous American term for those with both a male and female spirits.
IKEA’s Pride-flag themed couches — top row: asexual, progress and bottom row: transgender, lesbian Credit: IKEA Canada
“There’s more to Pride than a rainbow,” IKEA said, alluding to the range of flags featured in the campaign, including the lesbian flag and the pink, yellow and blue pansexual flag. The company described the couches as “a platform to celebrate identity and share stories of love.”
Although the eye-catching designs were unveiled last week, buzz has grown online in recent days. And while the couches were broadly celebrated, some stirred debate on social media.
In particular, a purple and pink “bisexual” couch, designed by Charlotte Carbone, divided opinions. Drawing on the colors of the bisexual flag, the sofa is layered with hand-shaped fabric — and features armrests resembling actual arms.
More serious concerns were leveled against a phrase featured on the cushions reading, “When you change ‘or’ to ‘and,’ nobody believes you.”
Pride 2021: A history of the rainbow flag
He added that the hands were “meant to represent the audience reaction, especially those of other bisexual folks who would approach me after performances and share their story with me.”
Spoken word poet Brian Lanigan pictured on IKEA’s “bisexual” couch, which was inspired by his work. Credit: IKEA Canada
As part of the IKEA campaign, individuals from of all the communities represented sat on their respective couches as they told their personal stories to the camera.
IKEA’s Pride-flag themed couches, left to right: bisexual, nonbinary, gender-fluid Credit: IKEA Canada
The company has not announced plans to sell the couches, although some social media users expressed interest in buying them. For now, the couches are being displayed at select IKEA stores in Canada.