One of the most well-known (and most expensive) bags produced may have to be renamed as its namesake Jane Birkin has publicly withdrawn her support for Hermès over its treatment of crocodiles and alligators.
The Hermès Birkin bag has been hanging from the arms of celebrities and millionaires since the early 1980s when Jane Birkin helped to design it; one of the most recognisable designer bags out there, it sells for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the material used. The crocodile version is particularly expensive, selling for around $300,000, but after the animal rights organisation PETA carried out an investigation into the designer brand’s crocodile farming, revealing that live animals are sawn open and left to bleed to death, Birkin was incensed.
The singer/actress/continual cool girl told Agence France-Presse: “Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès 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.”
PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk said, "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. We call on Hermès to stop plundering wildlife, factory-farming crocodiles and alligators and slaughtering them for their skins.”
Today, Hermès relesead a statement saying: "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."