From a forward genetic screen for epidermal defects in zebrafish, we identified a loss-of-function mutation in Kindlin-1, an essential regulator of integrin function. The mutation generates a premature stop codon, deleting the integrin-binding site. The mutant zebrafish develops cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion defects in the basal epidermis leading to progressive fin rupturing, and was therefore designated rupturing-of-fins (rof). Similar defects were observed in the epidermis of Kindler syndrome patients, carrying a loss-of-function mutation in kindlin-1. Mutational analysis and rescue experiments in zebrafish revealed that residues K610, W612, and I647 in the F3 domain are essential for Kindlin-1 function in vivo, and that Kindlin-2 can functionally compensate for the loss of Kindlin-1. The fin phenotype of rof/kindlin-1 mutants resembles that of badfin mutants, carrying a mutation in integrin α3. We show here that this mutation impairs the biosynthesis of integrin α3β1 and causes cell-matrix and cell-cell defects in vivo. Whereas both Integrin-linked kinase (Ilk) and Kindlin-1 cooperate with Integrin α3β1 to resist trauma-induced epidermal defects, Kindlin-1 and Ilk, surprisingly, do not act synergistically but in parallel. Thus, the rof/kindlin-1 mutant zebrafish provides a unique model system to study epidermal adhesion mechanisms in vivo.