Jane Birkin and Hermes resolve differences over croc handbag

Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:01am EDT
 
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PARIS (Reuters) - Actress and singer Jane Birkin is now satisfied with how luxury group Hermes treats crocodiles and has dropped her request to have her name removed from its iconic handbags, the French company said on Friday.

Hermes said 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 Hermes," Hermes said in a statement. Birkin could not immediately be reached for comment.

Birkin said in July she had asked Hermes to rename its Birkin Croco bag until the firm adopted what she said were practices that meet international standards for the production of the bag.

Birkin had signed 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, or PETA, narrated by Phoenix, showing how live reptiles were skinned or sawed open on farms that supplied luxury brands.

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

The crocodile Birkin and the Kelly bag, named after actress Grace Kelly, are among the most sought-after luxury goods - even though the starting retail price is more than 20,000 euros ($22,096) - partly because shops routinely run out of them.

(Reporting by Michel Rose and Pascale Denis Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

 
British actress Jane Birkin poses during a photocall at the 66th Venice Film Festival September 7, 2009. REUTERS/Tony Gentile