The Hermès Birkin bag may be one of the most expensive and highly-coveted fashion items in the world, but British actress Jane Birkin and namesake for the famed Hermès Birkin bag, has asked the French luxury goods maker to remove her name from the popular handbag.
Birkin, the former lover of famous French singer Serge Gainsbourg, inspired the handbag after sitting next to Hermes' late chairman Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight in 1981 from Paris to London. Dumas witnessed contents from Birkin's purse falling from the plane's overhead compartment, and she proceeded to complain about the structure of her handbag.
Three years later, Hermes created a custom-designed bag for Birkin -- and it has remained one of the most coveted luxury accessories since its conception.
"Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermes handbags carrying my name... I have asked Hermes to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place," Birkin, 68, said in a statement.
PETA notes that this comes in the wake of an investigation into alligator slaughter practices at the farms that supply the luxury label.
PETA applauded the request. "PETA, on behalf of all kind souls in the world, thanks Ms Birkin for ending her association with Hermès, which makes grotesque handbags that were revealed in a PETA exposé to be constructed from the skins of factory-farmed and cruelly slaughtered crocodiles," said Ingrid Newkirk, founder of the organization. "We call on Hermès to stop plundering wildlife, factory-farming crocodiles and alligators and slaughtering them for their skins. Once, Birkin bags marked people as celebrities or at least members of the super-rich, but soon, no one will want to be caught dead carrying one, and animal advocates will then breathe a sigh of relief."
During a recent investigation, PETA exposed the cruel conditions crocodiles are raised and killed in for production of the Birkin bag and other luxury goods using crocodile skin. PETA claims it takes two to three crocodiles to make one Birkin bag.
The Birkin bag is one of the most sought after luxury handbags in the world. New Birkin bags can cost $10,000 to $150,000, and is created with ostrich, lizard, calf and crocodile skins.
..... Devashree Goenka