Jane Birkin has asked Hermes to remove her name from the iconic handbag which she inspired.
After reading a report published by PETA which exposed the brutal farming methods of crocodiles and alligators used to make the accessory, the British singer and style icon has come out strongly against the luxury French retailer asking them to rename the fashion staple.
"Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermes bags carrying my name, I have asked Hermes Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag," Birkin told Agence France Presse in a statement issued on Tuesday evening .
In response to Birkin's request the French fashion house 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. Hermes respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast."
The statement continues: "An investigation is underway at the Texas farm which was implicated in the video. Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermees specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags."
PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk said, "PETA, on behalf of all kind souls in the world, thanks Ms Birkin for ending her association with Hermes, which makes grotesque handbags that were revealed in a PETA expose to be constructed from the skins of factory-farmed and cruelly slaughtered crocodiles. We call on Hermes to stop plundering wildlife, factory-farming crocodiles and alligators and slaughtering them for their skins. "
Birkin was the muse for the legendary handbag that was created when she was on a flight from Paris to London in 1981 and the contents of her handbag fell over the aisle. Hermes chief executive who was seated next to her offered to create one that would be large enough for her to carry "her house" but stylish enough for the brand to lend the bag its name. The exclusive Birkin bag whose prices range from $10,400 to $226,000 and a waiting list of up to six years, is a coveted accessory that is considered the epitome of the French luxury house's exclusivity and a symbol of wealth among celebrities and the extremely rich.