A British designer wants to tan human hide (and in the meantime is practising with pigskin). What does Alexander McQueen have to do with it?

The project is both ambitious and controversial. Tina Gorjanc, who gained her diploma at the Central Saint Martins College fashion school in London, wants to set up laboratory cultures of human skin using the DNA of Alexander McQueen, the volatile English designer who committed suicide in 2010. Once she has obtained a sufficient quantity of material, Gorjanc intends to tan and then use it to produce collections of coats and leather goods. McQueen’s genetic information will be extrapolated from the hair that the designer applied to some of the garments in his collection “Jack the Ripper stalks his victims” in 1992. To reach the highest level of resemblance, the young designer also intends to replicate the freckles, tattoos and scars that McQueen had on his body. While waiting for the works to be finished, Gorjanc has presented a demo collection (using pigskin) to provide an idea of the final result of her project. However, Gorjanc maintains that her objective is not a commercial one: she wants to sound out the confines between bioethics and the fashion industry. At the moment, the law does not prohibit the production of a jacket made of human skin using the DNA of a person who has passed away. “My project is absolutely legal”, she explains to the British press. Indeed, it does sound a little strange.


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