Rayfish Footwear grows bio-customized sneakers

Is this real or another internet hoax? From their press release:”Transgenic stingray leather used to create uniquely personalized product. Thai company Rayfish Footwear Inc. has pioneered the process of ‘bio-customization’, a groundbreaking concept in personalized consumer products. Using coloration and patterning genes from existing animal species, engineers at Rayfish Footwear produce stingray leather with a near-infinite variety of naturally grown designs.

Customers visiting the company’s website Rayfish Footwear can design a pattern to be grown on a transgenic stingray, which will subsequently be transformed into a one-of-a-kind stingray leather sneaker at the company’s Chon Buri facility.

With their unparalleled degree of customization – no two pairs are alike, even at a genetic level – these shoes should appeal to a diverse group of sneaker lovers. Incorporating stingray leather, one of the most durable kinds of leather, these shoes are ready for the street with hand-stitched details, thick laces, and sturdy soles. Rayfish Footwear combines modern genetic technologies with Thai craftsmanship. From Rayfish Footwear CEO Raymond Ong: ‘I saw an opportunity for innovation while keeping true to my family’s long tradition of producing stingray leather goods. After a decade of developing this technology in cooperation with a team of bio engineers, I am proud to bring the world’s first bio-customized sneakers to the general public.’

Currently, Rayfish sneakers are only available via the design contest running at the company’s website. Winning designers will receive their shoes once the rays have grown to maturity. General production will begin in late 2012 as the technology is scaled up to commercial levels. Rayfish stingrays live in specially modified aquaculture tanks that mimic their natural environment. They are raised in a humane manner to ensure the most accurate, vibrant expression of their genetics. Rayfish Footwear opposes the harvesting of rays from the wild, and its committed to ocean conservation.”

Even if this is true, I’m still not sure what to think of this development. I love the sneakers and it’s bright colorful patterns but l also love to see swimming rayfish… What do you think?
Liza Snook

More shoes made of fish leather in the Virtual Shoe Museum.