This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Salmon skins make a fashion splash in LA. I’ll tell you more after this…
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Salmon skin is becoming a fashion trend in a line of clothing and accessories being designed in LA.
“ I use them for lapels on a jacket or a cuff, bracelets, belts, yokes and collars on dresses. It is a very interesting textile and it’s a good eco-friendly, sustainable alternative to other exotic skins, like snakes and things like that.”
Los Angeles fashion designer Lindsay Long uses salmon skins mostly for detailing in her fashion line. She says it’s still rare in the US, but the supple salmon skins are used widely in Europe as upholstery in luxury cars, yachts and jets, as well as in the high fashion world.
“Givenchy has used it on this killer pair of shoes I would love to wear. But other than that it’s new to the US. It’s kind of a cross over material – branching its way out into different industries. So we are the first that we know to be using on the whole range – jackets, dresses, belts and everything like that.”
The salmon skins come from a fish farm in Ireland; they are tanned, and sold by a German company called Nanai. After opening their office in LA last year Long couldn’t help but get her hands on the tanned salmon leather.
“ They researched this ancient tanning method, so they can tan the skins using no harsh metals, no harsh chemicals, and create these beautiful pieces of leather. I just couldn’t resist.”
The company reportedly wants to source more salmon skins state side… Closer to home: with salmon fillet operations ramping up in Alaska, it leaves tons of skins on the cutting room floor. But only one Alaskan – Jeff Barnhart of Kodiak – at Alaska Salmon Leather Company tans his own wild salmon skins and has a line of boots, belts, wallets and other accessories.
Thanks to the assist for KMXT’s Alaska Fisheries Report.
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Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 101 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.