You might be forgiven if your first thought on hearing the name Birkin is an image of a very expensive luxury bag carried by a very rich woman. But unlike Louboutin shoes and Manolo Blahniks — other things those women might be wearing — the famous Birkin bag is not named for a designer. The Birkin of Birkin bag fame is 68-year-old actress and singer Jane Birkin.
Or make that animal cruelty-conscious actor and singer Jane Birkin — since a day after a reviled dentist was identified as having killed one of Africa’s great lions, Birkin has asked Hermes, purveyor of the Birkin Croco bag, to remove her name from the $20,000 item. She now considers the treatment of crocodiles used to make the bag cruel. (Birkin didn’t design the bag, but was the inspiration for its design by Hermes in the 1980s.) She recently saw a PETA video showing how the crocodile skins were acquired — and she reacted by signing the PETA petition and disowning the bag. Birkin is an English actress who born in France. Her name has been on the bags for decades. She’s known mostly for stage acting and her singing. She’s released at least a dozen studio albums and starred in dozens of films. The actress Charlotte Gainsbourg is one of her daughters.
Here’s Jane Birkin singing a Tom Waits song: