Lucky case? The history of the Birkin bag.

Rome, August 16, 2023 – One month after his passing, the world is still mourning Jane Birkin, British-born singer and actress who has become an international style iconwhich, as French President Emmanuel Macron said, he left behind “a legacy of songs and images that will never leave us”. But that’s not the end of Birkin’s legacy. She’s the one behind the most iconic bag in the world: the Hermès Birkin bag.

Beautiful, scandalous, nonconformist: a love story that left an indelible mark on the history of costume

By 1981, Jane Birkin was already immortalized in the annals of Franco-British culture. Born in London in 1946, she moved to France in the 1960s to quickly establish herself as a famous actress and sex symbol through her appearances in films such as Michelangelo Antonioni’s Explosion (1966). While auditioning for The Slogan, a 1968 film directed by Pierre Grimble, Birkin first met Serge Gainsbourg, who ended up leaving his wife for her and moving to Paris. The seventies came, between flared trousers that left the navel exposed, and love that savored an unprecedented sense of freedom, that’s what Jane, an actress, and Serge, a chansonnier, live a crazy and scandalous love that still makes you dream. They release an album together with their duet. The song “Je t’aime moi non plus”, repeatedly censored and confiscated, becomes a symbol of the era and free love.sold five million copies: a song that is destined to remain in the history of music. They soon established themselves as the most beautiful, successful and romantic French couple. Their style and performances in the media put them at the forefront of the zeitgeist. Between quarrels, misdeeds and passion, however, they part in 1980, after twelve years of crazy and glamorous love. Despite a farewell, reinforced by a musical and artistic understanding that will bond them as much as their daughter, they remain friends and accomplices over the years.

Birkin’s birth case

As her whirlwind romance drew to a close, Jane Birkin’s influence on fashion was just beginning. In fact, on an Air France flight from Paris to London in 1983, passengers Jean-Louis Dumas, a Hermès designer, and Jane Birkin happened to be on the journey side by side. As fate would have it, when Jane placed her Hermès wicker bag in her hatbox, a diary and a lot of papers fell out. At this point, Dumas decided to design a new accessory to give the actress so she could make every move in comfort without sacrificing style. So, during a cruise to London, they discussed the perfect bag. An accessory that can truly contain everything Birkin needs in her daily life as a diva and new mother. During the flight, the first sketch of the bag and inspiration appear in Dumas’ head, who, back at Hermès headquarters, builds a prototype. Based on an earlier design used by the company in 1900, the rectangular leather Birkin bag was released in 1984. Although, according to some rumors, she is named after Birkin herself, the actress did not like the final project, claiming that it was too big and, when full, was “heavy as hell”. After all, even the clients of the House did not fall in love with him at the first stage.

When the Birkin Bag Became Indispensable

We’ll have to wait until the late ’90s for the Birkin bag to start earning its legendary status as a fashion accessory.. Gradually, celebrities and icons of world glamor, from Kate Moss to Victoria Beckham, begin to use, love and collect them. One moment in particular stands out: in 2001, Mr. in an episode of the cult TV series Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall, as Samantha, is put on a five-year waiting list to buy one of Hermès bags, highlighting how not only iconic she was already, but also unattainable. . Summing up The holy grail of every fashion victim. Presented around the world as an object of desire, the popularity of the Birkin bag reaches the glamorous stratosphere with the early 2000s.. Since then he has been making his own appearances in TV series such as Gossip Girl and Gilmore Girls, as well as in films such as Transformer 3 (2011). Kim Kardashian he often gives them to friends and Victoria Beckham’s Posh Spice Birkin bag collection is valued at over £1,500,000. (approximately EUR 1,736,728.24).

The undisputed icon of style and elegance

Hermès produces over 70,000 bags every year, with customers waiting in line for up to six years. The exclusivity of the bag and its media status have made it incredibly desirable.They range from a starting price of around $10,000 (€8,900) for the base model to $300,000 (€267,000) for special diamond-encrusted versions. These are bags that, like gold and diamonds, have become a brilliant investment, given that “vintage” or “outdated” models are regularly resold for a higher price than the original. In recent years, the hip-hop and pop world has repeatedly referred to the Birkin bag as a status symbol. Indeed, Birkin is referenced by, among other things, Lil Kim in the song “Doing It Way Big”, Jay-Z and Beyoncé in “Deja Vu” and in the song “03 Bonnie & Clyde”, Madonna in the video for “Give It 2 ​​Me “, as well as rapper Cardi B in the single “Up”.. American rapper Gunna in “Baby Birkin” clearly hints at the opportunity to afford to buy the aforementioned bag as a symbol of achieving fame and success. The number of quotes and references from series to films, from novels to music is one. evidence of Birkin’s enduring status as an It-bag. Who would have imagined such a success for a bag that ended up being hastily thrown on an air flight and that, 40 years later, continues to gain in value and charm.

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