Famous fashion designer Alexander McQueen was all about pushing boundaries, which is why he’d probably approve of Tina Gorjanc’s plan to grow new skin from McQueen’s DNA and fashion the resulting material into luxury leather goods. It’s odd and morbid, and therefore fascinating. Gorjanc says that she wants the project to raise questions about the ethics of using genetic information for luxury goods. There are, even now, cosmetic companies that are using lab grown skin to test products, thus reducing animal testing.
Gorjanc may want to spark a discussion about ethics, but she says that her own project is “completely legal” and has even met with approval from those who knew McQueen. “At my final degree show, one of the McQueen representatives came to see my project,” she said. “They were really fascinated with the idea and I’ve had a really positive response from them . . . People that were really close to him or that worked for his institution said that he might actually like the idea. He was always pushing the boundaries and always trying to break laws in fashion.”
Currently Gorjanc has only produced prototypes of the McQueen leather goods, all of which use pigskin. She has been contacted by some people who want to produce the items for sale, but Gorjanc currently only has plans to display the finished products in a public gallery.