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LA designer brings salmon skin to fashion world

Salmon skins have finally made it to the U.S. in a line of clothing and accessories set to make the fashion scene this fall.

Los Angeles designer Lindsay Long features salmon leather on jackets and cuffs, 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," Long told KMXT.

She said it's still rare in the U.S. but the supple, durable salmon leathers 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," Long said. "But other than that, it's new to the U.S. It's kind of a crossover material -- branching its way out into different industries. So we are the first that we know to be using it on the whole range -- jackets, dresses, belts and everything like that."

The skins come from an organic fish farm in Ireland. They are tanned and sold by a German company called Nanai, which recently opened an office in LA. The company reportedly wants to get more of its salmon skins from the U.S.

"They researched an ancient tanning method that uses no harsh metals or chemicals and creates these beautiful, colorful pieces of leather. I just couldn't resist," Long said.

See Long's $88 salmon belts at LindsayLong.co.

Learn how Alaska is using salmon skins and other byproducts at: afdf.org.

Salmon surge

Alaska's wild salmon harvest was nearing 60 million fish by Friday, increasing by 18 million salmon in just two weeks.

Here's the statewide tally:

• Chinook: 198,000

• Sockeye: 33.7 million (including nearly 21 million from Bristol Bay)

• Coho: 536,000

• Chum: 11 million

• Pink: 13.1 million

Laine Welch is a Kodiak-based fisheries journalist. Her Fish Radio programs can be heard on stations around the state. This material is protected by copyright. For information on reprinting, contact msfish@alaska.com.



Fisheries By LAINE WELCH