Fabric pattern with bright yellow bananas against black and white stripes, RANDIG BANAN.
Inez Svensson
EUR 6/m

The powerful RANDIG BANAN pattern from 1986 was created by Inez Svensson, one of the designers in the designer collective known as 10-gruppen. Back in 1979 the group had made a collection for the IKEA textiles department, under the leadership of product developer Vivianne Sjölin. As suggested by Ingvar Kamprad, Vivianne once again used designers from 10-gruppen: Inez Svensson and Birgitta Hahn. Vivianne showed them around the store and explained how a product had to ‘shout out loud’ to be visible there.

“When they later sat drawing sketches, someone on the radio was talking about ‘cool bananas’, and that’s when they got the idea for the banana fabric,” Vivianne remembers.

The textiles department built up the Cool Bananas textile programme based on the patterns made by Inez and Birgitta. The collaboration was viewed as an opportunity for IKEA to “regain lost ground” and show the world that IKEA was “a step ahead in textile pattern design”. Alongside Inez Svensson, the enthusiastic co-workers in textiles made clothes and hats with the various patterns, and wore them to present the programme to the sales managers in spring 1984. It was a disaster. The sales managers wanted nothing to do with striped bananas. They rejected the programme out of hand and the textiles department was given a telling-off.

The cool bananas never sold that well either, despite a full page in the 1986 IKEA catalogue. But in 2013, RANDIG BANAN returned to the range in a temporary collection. Nowadays it’s a sought-after classic, beloved by many, not least Inez Svensson. When the textile designer and later director of the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design passed away in 2005 at the age of 73, she wanted her coffin to be draped in RANDIG BANAN fabric.