Forget Me Knot
by Sruli Recht


Forget Me Knot by Sruli Recht

Iceland-based fashion designer Sruli Recht had a slice of skin surgically removed from his own belly to make this ring.

After the operation, the 110 by 10 millimetre strip of skin was salted and tanned, then mounted on a 24 carat gold band to create the piece of jewellery, which can be purchased for €350,000.

Forget Me Knot by Sruli Recht

Sruli Recht created a short documentary with graphic scenes of the operation, performed by a plastic surgeon, which can be watched here if you have a strong stomach.

The anthropodermic leather ring forms part of Recht's Autumn Winter 2013 collection, to be presented in Paris tomorrow.

Recht creates garments and accessories from unconventional materials at his Reykjavik studio, and his previous collections have included stillborn lamb leather and silk extracted from a spider's gland implanted in a goat.

Other unusual jewellery we've written about include a collection made from the hair of a deceased loved one and pieces made of animal and fish remains.

See all our stories about jewellery design »
See all our stories about designs by Sruli Recht »


Editor: Stefanía Thors
Sound: Helgi Svavar Helgason
Camera 1: Rúnar Ingi
Camera 2: Þórsteinn Magnússon
Photo: Marino Thorlacius

  • Greenish


  • sam

    Sruli, when I told you to design a belly ring, I didn't mean this!

  • Scott

    So, another one. Can't cut it as a real designer, so you rely on shock value to garner attention. It's so old.

  • ana
  • Brendan K

    Good idea: a foreskin will be perfect to make into a ring. Greatest token of love!

    • blah

      If you love someone you won’t really want them to mutilate their genitals though will you?

  • JayCee

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • lucienne li

    This is disturbing on so many levels.

    • Mario

      Just as disturbing as your McChicken you fool!

  • Jenny

    Everyone knows that’s not stomach skin!

  • simoes

    Why did no one inform me of this when I was circumcised? This is disgusting!

  • frank

    Dear Dezeen,

    This is too much. Where are the red lines of design? Next item: decapitated human heads with light bulbs installed.

    There must be a point where, as a design community, we can take a step back from our romance with extreme design and say no, this just went too far, and NOT give it publicity.

    Without any boundaries whatsoever, design has turned into a nondescript amoeba, out of context and without any tools of self criticism. This is the fashion of making extremities for the sake of extremities, nothing else. And frankly, that’s just plain dull.

    • Gavin

      Or maybe you are just plain dull.

    • Nick

      I wholeheartedly agree. We must draw the red lines somewhere.

      And “Gavin” just stop – thats exactly the pretentious attitude that got us into this mess in the first place.

      • I think what you’re missing and what Gavin is presently (albeit a bit shortly) is just where is the “red line” you speak of and just who is it that determines its location? It’s no different than pornagraphy – in the Victorian era if even the ankle was presented, the sky fell and the end of the world approached. This is no different.

        • Lohen Grinn

          But it IS different – or at least the context is. Whereas the Victorian era was a time of excessive conservatism and hyper-sensitivity upheld by the general population, we are now living in a time which is the complete opposite; it is a scenario where the boundaries and limits as to what point things become vulgar, ugly or ridiculous have not been merely loosened or relaxed, but dispensed with altogether. As a result (and I think is what Frank was getting at) design and the arts have apparently suffered.

          One wonders, incidentally, which would be more difficult: to work as an individualist creative in a very conservative society and time such as the c.19th; or to work as a conservative artist and designer in this day and age where people see fit to call one boring or square — or indeed label critics of things such as this article as “haters” (a feeble detraction).

          I put it to you that the only consolation here now is that true quality lives-on after the graves of generations, while absolute vulgarity and awfulness may not even have any regard left for it or receive any attention by the time of its creator’s own death. Indeed, that may be the only means of measuring notions or quality and merit objectively now – centered on death!

          • Dansercoer

            This piece is “cheap” compared to Andrew Krasnow’s work, but so is your reasoning. True quality does not need sustained attention; true quality lives on in the change it has provoked.

          • Lohen Grinn

            Very well – but do we agree that if sustained attention and appreciation for something is not a criterion of “quality” (which was not what I was implying) it is at least an overwhelming trait?

    • Hannah

      When we decide that design and architecture can be “too much” then we are removing design as a member of the fine art world.

    • Kirk

      It’s a bit of a guy’s skin, what’s the big deal? Some people wear leather, some people put human hair extensions in their hair, some people get transplants. Big deal. There will come a day when we will be able to graft animal parts onto our bodies (horns, teeth, tails, etc.) It’s not for everyone but as long as no animals are harmed in the process what’s the problem?

    • bianco spino

      Amen! Or are you not religious?

    • diana

      The Nazis have already done that.

  • Fitty

    Way to pay for your lipo.

  • Dom

    Why, oh, WHY was I eating when I saw this?

  • god

    Brilliant. Totally brilliant.

  • Buffalo Bill's wedding ring.

  • laura skeeters

    Borderline pathological, disgusting and self-centered. I dare say someone would be so stupid as to spend this kind of money for something so appalling. The designer really has some guts and little brain.

  • Bob

    Human skin products. Please remove.

  • Franz

    Disgusting! What is the next thing to do to be famous? If design would be criticised like art, this kind of work could be nothing or everything. Maybe I don’t get the reference. Is there any relevant theme?

  • jon

    I wonder if I could commission him to make me an entire suit.

  • Tim

    Love it! Have some of you haters got €350,000 for me?

    • Tanya

      Haters gotta hate!

      • bodkin

        Having an opinion about something is not hate. Try and come up with a slightly less feeble comment next time. Turning a slice of your own body into a ring is pretty distasteful to most people for a reason. You might like it – well done you for suppressing your basic instincts. You win.

  • pedro

    Good start. You will have to eat a little more to make a bag.

  • It reminds me of the real-semen painting I saw on "Regretsy".

  • salpickering

    That’s really kind of sick… not liking this article at all!

  • mariana siqueira

    Mind the price of the little thing.

  • Remi

    For those saying he can’t cut it as a real designer, or that that he has guts but little brains, well, you really show your ignorance. Sruli Recht is a fantastic and brilliant designer with a repertoire of many beautiful products.

    I must admit, this one does nothing for me aesthetically. To my eye, it is not beautiful. But does it cross “red lines of design”? Does it “go too far”? In a post-modern world of subjective truth, art is, as Francis Bacon once said, entirely a game that must constantly be deepened in order for life to be more exciting. In this world, there can be no right or wrong and art is only the distraction that beguiles us from the futility of being. If you belong to post-modern society, this piece cannot be “too much”, it is only fulfilling its job in deepening this absurd game.

  • Theo

    Interesting piece, and while a lot of the comments focus on it’s value as a piece of design, what about it’s value as a piece of art?

    Design does sometimes tend towards art, function following form, and to me this tends even more towards the art side of the spectrum, sitting comfortably next to Marc Quinn’s Self.

    If this was presented as a work of art rather than a product, would the label make the viewer respond differently?

  • luca

    Nothing to say but disgusting.

  • Maar

    I just vomited in my mouth and then out again.

  • moon

    I don’t get it. What is so disgusting about it? These people probably all eat meat, all wear leather shoes. It is the man’s own skin. So what? A pig’s skin is less disgusting? Especially if you know that pigs have a higher IQ than chimpanzees.

    • bodkin

      Are you serious? If this doesn’t disgust you even a little bit I fear for your sanity. You’ve obviously been de-sensitised so much by modern life that you can’t even feel repulsion that someone would deliberately mutilate themselves for the sake of “art”.

      • Kirk

        Have another think about it. Some of the opinions here are quite judgemental. If you haven’t plucked a chicken or tanned a hide (or considered wearing a bit of someone else’s skin!) you may be getting too far away from our basic humanity (which I suppose is consistent with our society).

        • Dansercoer

          Questioning this “basic humanity” is human too.

  • djayaputra

    If only the artist would go extra length to refine the “art piece” the above discussion would be much less queasy. Personally for me what made me “eww” is the hairs.

    Oh well, if that what the artist intended he hit bull’s eye.

  • Chris

    This guy ain’t got nothin’ on Ed Gein.

  • That is absolutely vile!

  • I think the dividing line is “self” or someone “else.”

    One can’t dismiss this piece as cruelty because it was preformed on self in a state of total lucidity (I can only presume). The “Bodies” exhibit, purportedly performed on the bodies of erstwhile prisoners is cruel, offensive and disgusting.

    Many of the contributors to this post are indulging in insipid sensationalism in competitively articulating their disdain for the underlying concept of this piece. They sound like so many lemmings.

  • pozee

    What an idiotic design – and 350,000 pounds? Unless the sale is going to fund a worthwhile cause like paying for a new hospital burns unit, or skin cancer research it’s a complete failure in every sense of the word.

  • moon

    Lovely discussion. Could be what the designer had in mind. It confronts us with our own arrogance and supreme ideas of our species. All over the world people fall victim to violance and lose their skin. Here somebody made his own skin into a gem. Something whose purpose is only to be “beautiful”, to be adored. Plain human skin on a golden ring.

  • Cal

    This is revolting on so many levels to too many senses.

  • Raf

    Sruli Recht is not a hack simply trying to use shock to make it to the front page. He’s a rather talented designer with a very solid following. He comes from a school of fashion that explores fashion as a process and a zeitgeist of cultural ideology rather than being focused on creating trends.

    The materials, construction and process of creation are at the base of this school of designers. The best example to look at is Carol Christian Poell, who produces every aspect needed to create his pieces and invents new stitching and construction techniques, new modes of production and dying, in order to create self-reflective work.

    Being consciously aware of the process alters your relationship to the clothes, and the clothes as a filter between the physical work and yourself alters your connection to the world around you.

    Leather dyed in ox blood has to evoke a more complete history and understanding of what you’re wearing. When this becomes important, a designer using his own skin as leather creates a relationship between the designer and owner, and connects the owner to the original instance of ideation for the piece.

  • Abe

    Urgh, that’s horrible! Why would you want a skin ring?

  • Is this Nazi propaganda?

  • derekvicstu

    The price is just a part of the design concept, here the case is to raise its value by putting an outrageous number on it so it becomes something rather precious or something invaluable.

    This is only the case until some lost soul with loads of money cashes into such scam…

  • Noam Hazan

    Did the ring ever get sold?