Twinsburg, the spring/summer 2023 runway presentation by Italian fashion company Gucci, included 68 sets of identical twins. We wondered: What is the science of identical twin births in light of the amazing number of identical twins in one location?
Dizygotic twins are different from monozygotic twins, sometimes known as identical twins (fraternal, or non-identical, twins). Two different sperm cells fertilize two distinct egg cells during one pregnancy to produce fraternal twins. However, only one egg is fertilized in the case of identical twins. Then, this single egg divides, giving rise to two or more embryos with identical genetic compositions.
Identical twins are born per 1,000 births globally.
Contrary to popular belief, the likelihood of conceiving identical twins is not at all thought to be hereditary (conversely, the chances of having fraternal twins very much can be). Everyone has a one in 250 chance of producing identical twins, according to the UK National Health Service.
Unproven speculation holds that genes involved in cell adhesion play some role in the development of identical twins, which would account for some families having a statistically improbable number of identical twins.
The growing use of reproductive treatments and people starting children at earlier ages, among other things, has contributed to the rise in twin births in recent years, according to a 2021 study titled “Twin Peaks: more twinning in humans than ever before.” Although there is evidence for a minor rise in monozygotic twinning related to [medically assisted reproduction], the authors do state that “Most of this increase is in dizygotic twinning.”
The earliest known instance of identical twins was two male newborns who were buried together some 31,000 years ago, according to a 2020 article. Tragically, one twin perished at birth, while the other passed away about 50 days later.
Multiple pregnancies are 4.3 times more likely than singleton pregnancies to result in neonatal death, according to UK charity Twins Trust and are regrettably twice as likely to result in stillbirth. Additionally, they are more likely to become disabled.
Similar twins frequently share a placenta. However, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome can result from this shared blood circulation. In this situation, the “donor” twin donates blood to the “receiver” twin during pregnancy. Due to the donor twin frequently having anemia and being smaller than the receiver twin, whose heart may become overworked by the excess blood, the recipient twin’s blood supply is diminished.
Emerald and Giuliana, the identical twin daughters of Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele, were honored during the brand’s Twinsburg presentation. The name of their runway show, twintastic, may have been inspired by Twinsburg, Ohio. The Twins Days Festival billed as “The Largest Annual Gathering Of Twins And Multiples In The World,” is held in the city on the first weekend in August.
The festival notes on its website that “Many scientists use the festival’s enormous number of twins to further their studies. You might participate in research by completing surveys, having your photo taken, or even giving DNA samples.”