The risque image emblazoned with the logo of the fashion house Balenciaga shows a “human skin jacket” made and sold by the company.
At the beginning of December 2022, amid the ongoing public uproar regarding the scandalous campaigns of the fashion house Balenciaga featuring child exploitation and BDSM themes, social media users. shared which appeared to be a Balenciaga advertisement promoting a men’s jacket made from human skin.
In reality, however, the image used in the “advertisement” at the time was almost five years old, had nothing to do with Balenciaga or any Balenciaga product, and was deceptively edited to feature the company’s logo.
The photo, originally without the Balenciaga logo, was taken from an Etsy page active in January 2017 that offered fake human skin clothing created by Australian special effects artist Kayla Arena. Here are a few products that were advertised on the page at the time:
(Kayla Arena’s Etsy page, January 2017)
Arena uses latex and silicone to mimic human skin in his creations, which recently included fake-but-real-looking corpses and body parts he created in Guillermo Del Toro’s horror anthology TV series “Cabinet of Curiosities.”
We also emphasize that none of these creations are made using real human flesh, and none of them are in any way connected to Balenciaga.
A similar deceptive social media campaign was built around a fake photo purporting to show Balenciaga stylist Lotta Volkova covered in blood and posing in a “satanic” costume.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Double Dare You (DDY), Netflix, Exile Entertainment, 2022.
KaylaArenafx on Etsy. 26 Jan. 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20170126071904/https://www.etsy.com/shop/KaylaArenafx.
McNeely, Kelly. “Feast Your Eyes on These Ed Gein Inspired and Cool Creations!” Horror, 24 May 2017, https://ihorror.com/ed-gein-inspired-creations/.
Paton, Elizabeth, et al. “When High Fashion and QAnon Collide.” The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2022. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/28/style/balenciaga-campaign-controversy.html.
“This $1,200 ‘Human Flesh’ Jacket Takes Fashion Disruption to New Levels.” Elite Daily, https://www.elitedaily.com/elite/human-flesh-jacket-disturbing-fashion-levels/1766584. Accessed on 3 Dec. 2022.