Accord to Elle:
Hermès’ Birkin bag is the ultimate status symbol. Created 31 years ago and named for model and muse Jane Birkin, the bag has become the timeless It bag—one that comes with a five-(or even six) figure price tag, years-long waitlist, and has inspired outrageous cultural moments, like the time when Kanye West commissioned a then one-year-old North to draw on one for Kim Kardashian.
But the bag’s namesake wants nothing to do with it anymore. According to a statement released by PETA, Birkin was moved to action when she learned how crocodiles and alligators were harmed in the process of the bag’s production.
“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 Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag,” she said. PETA notes that this comes in the wake of an investigation into alligator slaughter practices at the farms that supply the luxury label.
Hermès has released the following statement:
Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her 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. 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.
Hermès imposes on its partners the highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles. For more than 10 years, we have organized monthly visits to our suppliers. We control their practices and their conformity with slaughter standards established by veterinary experts and by the Fish and Wildlife (a federal American organization for the protection of nature) and with the rules established under the aegis of the U.N.O, by the Washington Convention of 1973 which defines the protection of endangered species.