PARIS, France – British singer Jane Birkin has dropped a request to have her name taken off a Hermes handbag after the group reviewed its treatment of crocodiles, a company statement said Friday, September 11.
"Following the heartfelt emotion expressed by Jane Birkin and her request for explanation, Hermes in agreement with her reiterates its firm commitment in the ethical treatment of crocodiles in its partner farms," the luxury fashion house said.
Contacted by Agence France-Presse, Birkin's agent confirmed the news.
After Birkin learned of the "cruel" methods associated with the production of crocodile-skin bags, she asked the luxury manufacturer to take her name off the bag in late July.
The bag was designed for Birkin in 1984, after a chance meeting of the singer and the group's then president, Jean-Louis Dumas. She complained she could not find a bag that was both elegant and practical.
The bag has since become a celebrities' favourite, beloved of Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and characters in the Sex and the City television series, among others.
The crocodile version, which costs at least 33,000 euros ($36,000), is one of Hermes's best-known products, along with its silk scarves and purses named after Grace Kelly.
Animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a video about the slaughter of crocodiles for the production of the famous bags, with reptiles allegedly "cruelly hacked" to death to produce a purse.
After Birkin announced her request to have her name removed, PETA said on its website: "On behalf of all kind souls in the world, we thank Ms Birkin for ending her association with Hermes."
The British singer and actress is best known as the former wife of French singer Serge Gainsbourg. – Rappler.com