Oh no. That sound you hear echoing around St. Barths and Rodeo Drive is the sound of a million socialites and celebrities inwardly screaming, as the status of their beloved Birkin bags is thrown into question, with just a few words from the bag’s namesake.
“Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermès handbags carrying my name... I have asked Hermés to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place,” actress and singer Jane Birkin said in a statement Tuesday, after PETA released the results of an investigation they did into the treatment of crocodiles who are killed for their skins to make the bags.
Birkin, a fashion icon, helped design the bag in 1984, when she was seated next to Hermès CEO Jean Louis Duma on an airplane; during the flight, she expressed frustration about not having the perfect bag for travel. She reportedly used the Birkin for years, even putting it to use in raising money for charity, but in 2006, Birkin told Vogue that she’d given up on it: “I will always love the Hermès bags but I have tendonitis so I had to search for something smaller.”
At the time, Birkin noted that she was “always loyal to Hermès.” Well, those days are OVER! The bag, which (depending on the style) is worth anywhere in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars and a requires a long long wait on a waitlist, may no longer bear her name, though Hermès has not publicly responded to Birkin’s request. What’s a Birkin when it’s not called a Birkin?
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