Fashion icon Jane Birkin has publically asked French luxury brand Hermès to re-christen her namesake bag following a report from PETA on cruel slaughtering practices, as she doesn't want to be associated with such acts.
“Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermes bags carrying my name… I have asked Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag,” she said in a statement.
The timeless leather Birkin bag was created 31 years ago by Hermès’ late chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas, who met Birkin while on a plane ride. “You should have one with pockets,” Dumas commented after seeing that the contents of her bag were spilling out.
“The day Hermes makes one with pockets I will have that,” replied the model, who was 37 at the time. Dumas then sketched out the dream bag saying, “But I am Hermès and I will put pockets in for you.”
The rest, as they say, is history, and Birkins are now one of the most coveted bags in the world despite their eye-watering five-figure price tag.
What do you think will be the new name for the Birkin?
UPDATE: Hermès has issued the following statement in response to Birkin’s request:
Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast.
An investigation is underway at the Texas farm which was implicated in the video. Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermès specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags.
Hermès imposes on its partners the highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles. For more than 10 years, we have organised monthly visits to our suppliers. We control their practices and their conformity with slaughter standards established by veterinary experts and by the Fish and Wildlife (a federal American organisation for the protection of nature) and with the rules established under the aegis of the U.N.O, by the Washington Convention of 1973 which defines the protection of endangered species.