Actress Jane Birkin has one of the most coveted Hermès bags named in her honour, but it's a tribute she'd rather not have - and she's recently requested that the bag be renamed. This comes hot on the heels of PETA buying shares in French label. The English beauty and the animal rights organization have both criticized the "cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès bags".
PETA reportedly bought a single share to allow its representatives to "attend and ask questions at the company's annual meeting", a spokesperson told Vogue, adding that it was "in order to put pressure on the company to end its sale of exotic animal skins."
Jane caused a stir in the industry on Wednesday when she released a statement asking Hermès to no longer use her name for their iconic Birkin bags.
"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 the Hermès Group to rename the Birkin," read a statement from the Death on the Nile star, released to Agence France-Presse. "Until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag."
The French label have since issued a response, promising that an " investigation is underway," as well as denying that the farms featured in PETA's footage were affiliated with Hermès.
" Hermès respects and shares [Birkin's] emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast. An investigation is underway at the Texas farm which was implicated in the video," read the statement. "Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermès specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags."
Jane has been lending her name to the luxurious bags ever since inspiring the brand's then-chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas to make bags with pockets during a flight in 1981.
"I'm not quite sure what type of bag I had with me -- my husband, Jacques Doillon, had reversed his car over my basket, crushed it on purpose not two days before," Jane told The Telegraph.
"Little did he know that on this airplane journey, when everything fell out of whatever bag I had, the man next to me said, 'You should have one with pockets.' I said, 'The day Hermès make one with pockets I will have that', and he said: 'But I am Hermès and I will put pockets in for you'."