Jane Birkin drops request to have her name removed from Hermès handbag

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Jane Birkin
Jane Birkin had agreed to lend her name to the bag after sharing a flight with Jean-Louis Dumas, late former head of Hermès, in the 1980s. Photograph: Rex/Masatoshi Okauchi

Actor and singer Jane Birkin is now satisfied with how luxury group Hermès treats crocodiles and has dropped her request to have her name removed from its handbags, the French company has said.

Hermès said on Friday it had identified an “isolated irregularity” in the slaughter process at a crocodile farm in Texas and had warned the farm it would cease any relations should it continue to neglect its recommended procedures.

“Jane Birkin has advised us that she is satisfied by the measures taken by Hermès,” the company said in a statement. Birkin could not immediately be reached for comment.

She said in July she had asked Hermès to rename its Birkin crocodile bag until the firm adopted what she said were practices that met international production standards.

Birkin had signed the actor Joaquin Phoenix’s Mercy For Animals petition to “shed exotic skins from your wardrobe” in protest against the “millions of reptiles slaughtered each year and turned into shoes, handbags, belts and other accessories”.

Her decision came after she saw a video released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), narrated by Phoenix, showing how live reptiles were skinned or sawed open on farms that supplied luxury brands.

Birkin had agreed to lend her name to the bag after sharing a flight with Jean-Louis Dumas, late former head of Hermès, in the 1980s.

The crocodile-skin Birkin bag and the Kelly bag – named after the actor Grace Kelly – are among the most sought-after items in the luxury goods market, despite a starting retail price of more than €20,000 (£14,600) – partly because shops routinely run out of them.

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