By DAVID ODONGO
Move over bling. Now those with money and fame can acquire a one-of-a kind collector’s item made from the smoothest, softest leather on earth – human skin!
A UK company that manufactures leather products made from human skin says its leather “is free from defects and has the smallest grain size”.
But their products will cost you an arm and a leg. You will need to fork out a minimum of US$14,000 (Sh1,190,000) for a human leather wallet, US$15,750 (Sh1,338,750) for a human leather belt while human leather shoes will knock a cool US$27,000 (Sh2,295,000) out of your wallet. The company justifies the expensive price Human leather products in city ‘Donors bequeath their skin to us prior to their death. We prefer uninterrupted skin from the back and abdomen’ of their products claiming to only cater to a small but highly discerning clientele.
“Our clients are among the lucky few who have everything they could possibly desire. Our supply is restricted and we prefer to keep it that way as we are the only firm in the world that crafts these special products.”
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But wait a minute… what is the source of their raw material? Could they be sourcing black skin from unclaimed bodies in mortuaries?
A man who showed this writer a human skin leather wallet claims some of the clients who order for leather products made from human skin specifically request for skin from pure Africans. The man who is, however, not directly involved in the business claimed companies that manufacture human leather items could be sourcing raw materials from African morgues.
The Nairobian sent a series of emails to UK’s Human Leather Limited company inquiring where they acquire African skins but did not receive a response.
The company makes belts, shoes, bracelets and wallets from human skin and brand themselves as “specialists in producing exquisite and exclusive products for an extremely discerning clientele”.
According to their website, human leather is produced from skin sourced from normal everyday people through prior arrangement.
“Donors bequeath their skin to us prior to their death. There are a few areas of the body like the back and abdomen that have uninterrupted skin coverage, and are therefore the best for processing into human leather,” says the company.
All products are carefully hand-crafted by experienced master craftsmen, with years of experience in handling the finest leather known – Human Leather, adds the company.
It claims their operations aren’t illegal but at times, they have to turn away potential donors because they only accept the highest quality leather.
“We value our donors and reward their beneficiaries and next of kin very handsomely. In fact, we have had to turn away some potential donors, as we can accept only the highest quality human skin.
We can not give you the source of our raw product, we apologise,” says the company.
The company claims that they don’t have products for demonstration because they deal with a raw material that is very precious and hence quite difficult to acquire.
“We have no need to take any pictures of any of the hand finished articles. Infact, our clients generally like to maintain their privacy and therefore, just like the interiors of super-yachts, our creations are for our clients’ eyes only, we apologise for this. We are considering taking a picture of an article that will never be for sale and we will publish that later this year,” says the company.
In their seven years of operation, Human Leather claims they have never had an article returned due to defects, and they aim to retain this unblemished record.
So if you really want to be a wannabe, you can blow away Sh5 million to carry your money in a human leather wallet, hoist your trouser up in a human leather belt and walk around in shoes made from human leather.
Those looking for a quick buck might consider selling their loved one’s skin to the company, too. But remember they ‘accept only the highest quality human skin’ – so no scarred, bleached skin please.