Ikea’s blue shopping bag may have become a fashion accessory overnight, but it’s been working its way up to fame for a couple of decades. It was conceived in 1996, when Ikea had a less than glamorous problem. Smaller things than flat-pack items were being added to the product range, but customers weren’t finding it easy to cart them around the gigantic stores. The blue bag was the solution – though it wasn’t one the furniture empire could keep within the confines of its premises. No matter how they tried, they could never quite stop customers from taking the bag home with them.