No, internet, this is not a ‘Human Skin Jacket’ by Balenciaga


A viral photo featuring fashion house Balenciaga’s logo shows a “human skin jacket” made and sold by the company.



In early December 2022, amid an ongoing public outcry over garish ad campaigns for fashion house Balenciaga that included child exploitation and BDSM themes, social media users divided what looked like a Balenciaga ad promoting a men’s jacket made out of human skin.

In reality, however, the photo used in the “advertisement” was around five years old at the time, had nothing to do with Balenciaga or any Balenciaga product, and had been misleadingly edited to bear the company’s logo.

Fake Balenciaga advertisement for a jacket made out of human skin (Twitter screenshot)

You should examine this jacket and see if it's made of human skin (Twitter screenshot)

The image, which originally didn’t include a Balenciaga logo, is from an Etsy page active in January 2017 selling faux human skin garments designed by Australian special effects artist Kayla Arena. Here are some of the products advertised on the site at the time:

Kayla Arena 'Ed Gein' Collection (Kayla Arena Etsy page, January 2017)

Arena uses latex and silicone to simulate human skin in their creations, which more recently have included fake but real-looking corpses and body parts they created for the Guillermo Del Toro horror anthology TV series, Cabinet of Curiosities constructed.

We reiterate that none of these creations are made from real human flesh and none of them are associated with Balenciaga in any way.

A similar misleading social media campaign was built around a miscaptioned image purporting to show Balenciaga stylist Lotta Volkova covered in blood and showing off a “satanic” outfit.


Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Double Dare You (DDY), Netflix, Exile Entertainment, 2022.

KaylaArenafx on Etsy. January 26, 2017,

McNeely, Kelly. “Feast your eyes on these spooky and cool Ed Gein-inspired creations!” iHorror, May 24, 2017,

Paton, Elizabeth, et al. “When high fashion and QAnon collide.” The New York Times, November 28, 2022.,

“This $1,200 ‘Human Flesh’ jacket takes fashion to an unsettling new level.” Elite Daily, -levels/1766584. Retrieved December 3, 2022.