Precious Skin by Victoria Ledig is a unique collection of handbags made from unusual cow body parts that not only shows how much of each animal is wasted, but also how well-disguised leather products often are. Heads, tails, ears, and lower legs, all of which are unmistakable parts of a dead cow, were used to construct the bags. The upcycled materials help to create value from something that used to be considered waste, while the designs themselves force people to reevaluate their opinion.
Ledig created the handbags for her graduation project at the Design Academy Eindhoven, who describes the human fascination with leather. “It is beautiful, precious and grotesque at the same time. We sometimes forget that touching leather is to handle a former living being’s hide. Most leather is processed to the point of becoming unrecognizable as what it is and this contributes to a general attitude, which I chose to question in this project.”
The vegetable-tanned Dutch calf leather, which was provided by ECCO Leather, and would otherwise have been processed further into unrecognizable animal ingredients, maintains all of its natural form and texture. This means you can’t ignore the fact you’re about to put your money inside a cow’s ear, or apply some makeup from its lower leg. As Ledig puts it, “This way the animal’s presence and past lies undeniably in every touch of each leather bag.”
[Via Fast Co.Design]