Three cheers for Jane Birkin! The style icon and original Sixties wild child has generously auctioned off her beloved Hermès Birkin bag to benefit earthquake relief efforts in Japan. Bravo! But this isn’t any old Birkin, folks – oh no. It is, in fact, the first of its kind, the original bag no less, personally created for Jane by Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas in 1984. Decorated with stickers and talismans from Jane’s travels, the purse fetched a whooping £100,100 on eBay this weekend (a tinsy bit cheaper than buying a brand new one) with all proceeds going to the British Red Cross.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the heartwarming tale of how the classic Birkin was born, let us take you back to 1981 when Monsieur Dumas found himself seated next to the singer-slash-actress on a flight from Paris to London. Having just placed her straw bag in the overhead compartment, the contents spilled to the ground and Jane had to – quelle horreur! - scramble in the aisle to pick up her belongings. Jane consequently grumbled that she was desperate to find a leather bag spacious enough for all her bits and bobs – hint hint – so, naturallement, Dumas responded by whipping up a supple leather bag for her, based on an 1892 design. And the rest, as they say, is fashion history...
But for those of us who missed out on that piece of sought-after style, praise be for Britney Spears who’s donating her own piece of pop history to help Japan. Yup, this teeny bra top thingy with comparatively ginormous white combat trousers, which Britters wore in a 1999 candy commercial, is currently going for $4,931. Get it before it goes!
- Jessica Vince