Influencers pose with IKEA cabinets to do ‘American High School’ cosplay
Influencers pose with IKEA cabinets to do ‘American High School’ cosplay

Influencers pose with IKEA cabinets to do ‘American High School’ cosplay

  • Chinese influencers pose in front of IKEA storage cabinets to recreate an ‘American high school’ trend.
  • There were reports that influencers were disrupting IKEA’s business by blocking customers.
  • The retailer said it does not “encourage behavior that may interfere with other customers”.

It might have been a little harder to enjoy shopping for minimalist, Scandinavian design furniture in Shanghai recently.

Chinese influencers — dressed in pleated skirts, button-downs, ties and backpacks that might as well have been pulled from the closets of “Gossip Girl” or “Clueless” — use IKEA cabinets as backdrops for photos of “Meigaofeng” or “American High School “.

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Blue lockers, used by customers to store goods while they shop, are now the main prop in a social media trend that seemingly romanticizes the American high schools so frequently depicted in US movies and television. Some influencers combine their “high school” outfits with other symbols of Americana, including Coke bottles or fast food.

Influencer posing in front of blue IKEA cabinets

Influencers pose with headphones, backpacks, coffee mugs and other themed items for the “American High School” trend.

Xiaohongshu/Fried Fish Ears

Shoppers, exasperated by the outage, complained that influencers were disrupting their shopping trips. Retailer Rumors forbidden photo in parts of its store circulated online, though the policy appears to have been misinterpreted – with IKEA staff actually only trying to stop influencers if they were visibly obstructing other shoppers’ ability to access cupboards.

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“We are committed to creating and delivering an inspiring and convenient experience for our customers,” IKEA said in a statement to Insider on behalf of its Xuhui store.

influencer posing in front of IKEA storage cabinets

The outfits are reminiscent of “Clueless” and “Gossip Girl” — preppy plaids, button-downs, ties and blazers.

Xiaohongshu/Jiang Jiang did not wake up

“We appreciate the influencers for choosing IKEA as the backdrop for their photos,” the statement continued. “However, we do not encourage behavior that may interfere with other customers, such as crowding and blocking shopping aisles.”

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China blocks Western media companies, including Instagram and Facebook, and has its own version of TikTok, called Douyin. But American television, music and movies continue to be popular with young people.

The original “Gossip Girl,” which seems to have partially inspired IKEA’s trend for “American high school” locker rooms, was popular in China during its run. It garnered between 3 million and 5 million views per week through illegal streams and downloads, according to a report by the China Market Research Group, Forbes reported.

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