Alexander McQueen’s DNA Is Being Used In a Controversial Design Project

Alexander McQueen was known for pushing the boundaries of design and certainly wasn’t afraid of incorporating the truly bizarre into his fashion. Saying that, it’s still hard to decide if the legendary designer who passed away in 2010 would be keen on the latest project that uses his, er, essence.

Tina Gorjanc, a fashion student at Central Saint Martins, has announced that with her project deemed “Pure Human” she is creating “a small range of accessories using ‘human leather,’ currently being produced in a laboratory using the DNA from Alexander McQueen,” according to Fashion United. Yeah, she’s growing some McQueen skin and is using it in her designs. Whoa.


Here’s how it’s all going down: Gorjnac apparently snagged a strand of McQueen’s hair from his first collection, ‘Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims’ which included a lock of the designer’s mane. Preserved in a plastic garment pocket, it was meant to mimic the way it would be kept at a crime scene. Very Alexander McQueen-ish.

From there…

Gorjanc will be harvesting to extract the DNA from the hair, which can then in turn be formulated to create skin tissue and subsequently undergo the same procedures as turning animal skin into leather suitable for clothing and accessories. This is done via a tanning process, which can be either vegetable tanned or using chromium sulfate, also referred to chrome-tanned leather.


If you’re wondering if this is legal, that’s kinda the point. It is (or rather, it’s not illegal) and that’s seriously worrisome.

According to the artist who spoke to Dezeen, “The Pure Human project was designed as a critical design project that aims to address shortcomings concerning the protection of biological information and move the debate forward using current legal structures. If a student like me was able to patent a material extracted from Alexander McQueen’s biological information as there was no legislation to stop me, we can only imagine what big corporations with bigger funding are going to be capable of doing in the future.”

Yeah, that’s creepy as hell.

(h/t Fashion United; photos via Tina Gorjanc, Wikipedia)