It’s a bit weird, but it’s also a sign of the times: the new Thai shoe company Rayfish shoes uses rayfish leather, but only after they have genetically altered them to grow colorful patterns on skins. To do this they created a transgenic Southern Stingray that has the patterning genes from tiger rattlesnakes and pigmentation from the Moon Wrasse fish. They learned to influence the timing and patterns of growth on the stingray’s skin to make them look entirely different from the brown-gray colors normal for stingrays.
The exact details of the scientific process are a bit complicated, but Rayfish Shoes have taken advantage of recent mathematical modelling techniques. And they are still learning more to make more complex patterns in the future. Raymond Ong’s family has a tradition of using stingray leather, and Raymond has taken this tradition a few steps further.