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IKEA Canada celebrates diverse stories of love with Love Seats inspired by 2SLGBTQ+ Pride flags

Corporate newsEquality, People and CultureJune 24, 2021Last edited: August 31, 2021
Designers drew inspiration from collaborations with 2SLGBTQ+ community members, who shared powerful personal insights around identity and belonging

BURLINGTON, ON — In honour of Pride, IKEA Canada has collaborated with designers active in the 2SLGBTQ+ community to create “Love Seats,” a series of one-of-a-kind slipcovers inspired by the colours of different Pride flags, and the lived experiences from a wide spectrum of gender and sexual identities they represent.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, storytelling and personal connection have played an even more important role in bringing Canadians together. People are craving intimate, meaningful, and authentic stories that spark joy, make them think, or teach them something new. The Love Seats serve as a platform upon which members and allies of the 2SLGBTQ+ community can feel safe to share their love stories with the world—whether those stories are about self-love, romantic love, family love, chosen love, or community love.

All ten Love Seat slipcovers were handcrafted by one of four designers active in the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

The IKEA Love Seats designed by Bianca Daniela Nachtman include:

  • Transgender Flag #1 Love Seat featuring Nathaniel who shares their story of family love.
  • 2Spirit Flag Love Seat featuring Scott Wabano who shares their story of identity and family support.
  • Pansexual Flag Love Seat featuring Sarah Bellstedt who shares their story of self love.

The IKEA Love Seats designed by Madison Van Rijn include:

  • Lesbian Flag Love Seat featuring Jena Nasser & Veronica Harris who share their story of romantic love.
  • Transgender Flag #2 Love Seat featuring Jules who shares their story of romantic love.

The IKEA Love Seats designed by Charlotte Carbone include:

  • Non-binary Flag Love Seat featuring Marisa Rosa Grant who shares their story of community love and chosen family.
  • Genderfluid Flag Love Seat featuring John Walsh who shares their story of self love.
  • Bisexual Flag Love Seat featuring Brian Lanigan who shares their story of community love.

The IKEA Love Seats designed by Ali Haider include:

  • Progress Flag Love Seat featuring Waseem Shayk who shares their story of community love.
  • Asexual Flag Love Seat featuring Brianna Roye who shares their story of self love.

With the Love Seats, IKEA Canada and its collaborators hope to honour the richness and diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community while igniting a national conversation about identity and representation. IKEA Canada also hopes the Love Seats inspire Canadians to feel more confident in opening up dialogues of their own.

“Each Love Seat was designed in collaboration with a community member and inspired by the colours and personal meaning of the corresponding flag. Each designer had the freedom to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art,” says Claudia Mayne, Director, Marketing Communications at IKEA Canada. “This partnership is our way of helping artists in different communities express themselves on a large platform in a way that’s been tricky during COVID-19.”

“As a designer, I’ve always created items that allow for people to express themselves truly and I was so happy to bring that into these Love Seats,” says Bianca Nachtman. “Molding these couches to reflect someone's intimate experience was one of the most rewarding aspects of this project.” 

Jules Reeves, a trans woman featured in the campaign with her partner Michael, says, “It means so much for us to have the focus of the campaign be our love for ourselves and one another, because that love is what sparks a feeling of home and belonging within the queer community.” 

Scott Wabano appears in the campaign with his cousin, who supported him in his journey to identifying as 2Spirit. “To be in this campaign and showcase my true authentic self as a 2Spirit Eeyou means more than anything I could ever dream. I never saw people like myself in the media growing up.”

“At IKEA, celebrating IDAHOT and Pride means advocating for a more fair and equal world free from homophobia, transphobia and biphobia,” said John Williams, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Leader, IKEA Canada. “We want people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to feel at home at IKEA and everywhere. This year's Love Seats collaboration aligns with our commitment to create community for, and uplift the voices of, our 2SLGBTQ+ co-workers and customers, so that they feel welcomed, respected and appreciated for who they are.” 

IKEA Canada's commitments and support of Pride have expanded year to year with Pride flags being raised at units across the country since 2017 to raise awareness; sponsorship of Pride Toronto to help furnish safe spaces that support community; and proceeds from the sale of rainbow-coloured STORSTOMMA bags being donated to partner organizations that benefit the 2SLGBTQ+ community since 2018. This year, proceeds from the sale of STORSTOMMA bags will benefit local organizations pushing progress forward and creating safe spaces in their local communities including: Ten Oaks Project, Friends of Ruby, Pride Centre of Edmonton, Skipping Stone, Rainbow Resource Centre, QMUNITY, The Youth Project, and Fondation Émergence.

The Love Seats will be on display at select IKEA locations across Canada throughout the summer beginning June 24, 2021.