Actress Who Inspired Hermes Handbag Dies at 76

Jane Birkin, the achieved actress and singer who impressed the Hermès purse of the same title, has died at the age of 76.

“On July 16, 2023, actress and singer Jane Birkin died at the age of 76,” the French Lifestyle Ministry tweeted in French on Sunday, July 16, confirming Birkin’s passing. “Her collaborations with the biggest (Serge Gainsbourg, Etienne Daho and Agnès Varda) have created her a timeless French-talking icon.”

Additional specifics about Birkin’s death, including the bring about, have still to be uncovered.

Birkin, who was born in England ahead of at some point relocating to France, was identified for her roles in films these kinds of as Evil Underneath the SunshineBlow-UpDying on the Nile and Packing containers. She was also a famed singer, even crooning about her intimate marriage with then-lover Gainsbourg in 1969’s “Je T’aime … Moi Non Furthermore.”

Jane Birkin Dead at 76: French Culture Ministry Confirms Death of 'Timeless Icon'

Jane Birkin

In the course of her job heyday, Birkin grew to become a muse for Hermès following late chairman Jean-Louis Dumas sat following to her on a flight from Paris to London in 1981. Dumas quickly seen contents from Birkin’s straw purse slipping out when she tried to stow it in the plane’s overhead compartment. Following hearing Birkin complain about the bag’s construction, inspiration struck.

Hermès produced a tailor made handbag for Birkin a few yrs later, which has given that turn into a single of the most coveted luxury components in the manner market.

Birkin carried her one-of-a-variety purse for many several years just before at some point asking the model to eliminate her title from its crocodile-pores and skin handbag in July 2015.

“Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles for the duration of their slaughter to make Hermes purses carrying my identify,” Birkin claimed in a statement at the time. “I have questioned Hermes to debaptize the Birkin Croco right up until better practices in line with worldwide norms can be put in location.”

Hermès later on told Us Weekly in a statement that Birkin experienced alerted them of her concerns about the ethical treatment of crocodiles, noting their intentions to start an investigation into the issue. “Her responses do not in any way impact the friendship and self esteem that we have shared for a lot of a long time,” the brand’s assertion study. “Hermès respects and shares her feelings and was also stunned by the visuals not too long ago broadcast.”

They extra: “Hermès imposes on its associates the optimum requirements in the moral treatment method of crocodiles. For additional than 10 years, we have structured month to month visits to our suppliers. We handle their practices and their conformity with slaughter criteria set up by veterinary authorities and by the Fish and Wildlife (a federal American business for the defense of nature) and with the rules set up beneath the aegis of the U.N.O, by the Washington Conference of 1973 which defines the defense of endangered species.”

The investigation concluded in September 2015 with Birkin telling Reuters in a assertion that she was “satisfied” by the brand’s actions.

Birkin, who beforehand experienced a moderate stroke in 2021, is survived by her daughters Charlotte and Lou, whom she shared with exes Gainsbourg and Jacques Doillon, respectively. The late actress was also a mom to daughter Kate, who died in 2013, whom she coparented with ex-spouse John Barry.

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