Jane Birkin is a household name. Hermes named a handbag after her, for goodness’ sake. But who is Jane Birkin?
Jane was born into a British acting family in 1946 to actor parents. She started a career in acting in France as well, and in her later life has become a singer, songwriter, and fierce advocate for democracy in Myanmar. More than anything, she represents a unique time and a place within the fashion landscape of the 1960’s and 1970’s with her free-spirited, boho-chic look.
How did world’s most iconic, coveted Birkin handbag come to be? It’s a fascinating story:
“In 1981, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. Birkin had just placed her straw bag in the overhead compartment of her seat, but the contents fell to the floor, leaving her to scramble to replace the contents. Birkin explained to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. In 1984, he created a black supple leather bag for her: the Birkin bag,based on a 1982 design. She used the bag initially, but later changed her mind because she was carrying too many things in it: “What’s the use of having a second one?” she said laughingly. “You only need one and that busts your arm; they’re bloody heavy. I’m going to have to have an operation for tendonitis in the shoulder.” Nonetheless, Birkin did use the bag for some time. The Birkin bag has, over the years, become a status symbol, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $150,000.“
Despite all of Jane Birkin’s artistic achievements, her greatest legacy may very well be the Birkin bag.
images via bazaar