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Amputee wants a handbag made from her skin

by Boris Hodakel  • July 20, 2019 • 2 min read

Creativity knows no bounds in fashion, and in today’s world designers work with an array of materials to bring their vision to life. That being said, we’ve never come across a designer wanting to make a handbag from her own skin. After corresponding with her, it came to light that she got in touch with us after seeing the request from the lady who wanted the dress made from her Mother’s hair, and was inspired to do something similar. Before you say ‘ew gross!’, we’ve spoken with the woman and her reasoning behind it is actually understandable and very personal.

We thought who are we judge? The designer in question is desperate and struggling to find a professional who can help her, we’ve helped mock up designs so all we need is someone who has worked with animal skin like leather, and is willing to treat a small amount of human skin and use it to make a handbag. Her budget is £3,000, however she can be flexible.

Screenshots of her original request are below, along with a sketch she has mocked up herself and the designs we have created based on her vision.

leather bag enquiry from joan

Hi there,

I’m a 55 year old woman from Manchester and I’m hoping you can help me. It’s looking very likely that I’m going to have my lower left leg amputated soon (I have peripheral arterial disease) and I was reading about the human waste scandal where they just dumped body parts in a dump to rot and I don’t want that to happen to me. I was chatting to a friend about leather and how it’s essentially just treated animal skin and I had a lightbulb moment – can I use my amputated leg to create something beautiful and useful?

I’m finding out whether I can keep my leg after the surgery and the discussions have been positive so far, so fingers crossed!

If I do get to keep my leg, I’d like to have a professional already lined up to make it into a handbag. I’m thinking a medium sized bag with a short strap and a section down the middle that will be made with my skin and the rest will be made with another material, which can be confirmed later I guess. To demonstrate how I envision the handbag, I’ve done a drawing of it that’s attached. I think a handbag is the most logical route to go down, it’s basically the same as a leather handbag but this one is with my skin, it belongs to me so why not?

From my own research the person making this handbag will need to know how to preserve skin like with animal/leather products.

I have £3,000 set aside for this, which I hope is enough. If it’s not I can be flexible, but I can’t spend a fortune on this unfortunately.

I know it’s a bit odd and gross, and some might think I’m crazy, but it’s my leg, and I can’t bare the thought of it being left to rot somewhere. It’s part of me and I want to keep it.

More than happy for you to pass this onto your manufacturers, but would you mind keeping my full name private please? My family aren’t exactly happy about my idea to do this.

Joan

skin bag sketch

skin bag project mockup

If you think you can help, please email us with the subject line ‘amputee handbag’ to support@sewport.com Thank you!

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About the author:

Boris Hodakel is the founder and CEO of Sewport - an online marketplace connecting brands and manufacturers, former founder of various clothing manufacturing services. He is passionate about e-commerce, marketing and production digitisation. Connect with Boris on LinkedIn.