English fashion icon, model, and singer Jane Birkin has requested that Hermès take her name off one of the most expensive bags in the world that was named after her. This appeal came after the animal cruelty controversy that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) revealed regarding the maltreatment of crocodiles.
Many celebrities and fashionistas covet the Birkin Bag, and it has become a symbol of wealth. Not only is the bag expensive, it is also hard to come by because of its scarcity. According to reports, a Birkin bag costs anywhere from $10,500 to $150,000, depending on the materials used. Birkin Bags can be made of ostrich, lizard, calf, or crocodile leather, and they come in limited quantities. Waiting lists for the bag even stretch to four years. One of the most expensive is said to be the crocodile leather bag.
According to The Fashion Spot, the Birkin Bag was created especially for Jane Birkin. On a flight from Paris to London, Jane was seated next to Jean-Louis Dumas, who was the Hermès CEO back then. He noticed that Birkin was having trouble fitting items into her bag, and was having trouble looking for the perfect weekend bag. In 1984, Dumas created a bag for her and even named it after the model.
The Independent UK reports that PETA released a video wherein the maltreatment of crocodiles Texas and Zimbabwe was shown. Apparently, these crocodile farms are the ones that supply leather to Hermès. The graphic video shows how crocodiles are handled before they are slaughtered.
After learning of the cruelty to crocodiles, Jane Birkin has released a statement regarding the Birkin Bag.
“Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermès handbags carrying my name… I have asked Hermès to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place.”
Hermès has reacted to the news and they say that they share Jane Birkin’s sentiments, The Daily Mail reports.
“Hermès respects and shares her [Jane Birkin] 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.”
According to PETA, it takes about two to three crocodiles to make one Birkin Bag.
What are your thoughts on this controversy and Jane Birkin no longer wanting to associate her name with the bag? Share your thoughts below.
[Photo by S E Orchard/Getty Images/Finances Online/Lady Brooks]