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The Birkin Bag needs a new name

The "Birkin Bag" is named after British actress Jane Birkin. But how much longer?
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Jane Birkin protests against crocodile killings

The waiting list is long, the price high. Nevertheless - or for that very reason - the Birkin Bag by Hermès is one of THE icons of fashion history. But now eponym Jane Birkin calls for a renaming of the cult bag.

There is fashion that triggers a willing-to-want hysteria among trend-setters. Most of these are pieces that are particularly unique. Like the Birkin bag from Hermès . The bag, which costs depending on the equipment between 4, 000 and 40, 000 euros, is named after the actress and singer Jane Birkin, a real accolade. But the Briton wants her name back, calls for an immediate renaming of the luxury handbag.

The reason for the protest is a video by animal welfare organization Peta, to which Jane Birkin refers. It shows how crocodiles are skinned alive and hacked to death. According to Peta, two to three reptiles will die for a Birkin bag made of crocodile leather . The status symbol costs at Hermès from 33, 000 euros.

"I am alarmed by the atrocities that crocodiles suffer for the production of handbags bearing my name, " says Jane Birkin. "I asked Hermès to rename the Birkin until better methods of producing this bag were implemented according to international standards."

The company also responded: "Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was equally shocked by the recent pictures, " said a spokesman. "Their statements have no bearing on our friendship and the mutual trust we have shared for so many years." Whether it really will give a new name, the Paris luxury brand did not confirm.

How did the Birkin Bag get its name?

Jane Mallory Birkin did what many designers dream of. The British actress (born 1946) created a classic: the oversized Birkin Bag. On a flight from New York to Paris in 1984 she met the CEO of Hermès Jean-Louis Dumas - and complained that the bags of the brand were far too small. Her ideas sketched Birkin on a napkin. Two years later, the first collection appeared. Who wants to have a Birkin Bag today, needs two things: the necessary change and a lot of patience. The waiting time for new orders is several years.