Kill Crocs Humanely And Rename The Birkin, Jane Birkin Tells Hermès

A disturbing PETA report made her change her mind.

Would the slow, bloody death of an alligator put you off the most desirable bag in the world? If you're Jane Birkin, the answer is yes.

The actress and muse has requested that luxury fashion house Hermès rename its iconic crocodile Birkin bag after she read PETA's report of cruel slaughtering practices.

The report alleges that the alligators and crocodiles whose skins go into the bags live out their short lives in inhumane conditions. PETA claims the scaly beasts wriggle in agony for hours after their attempted slaughter.

Birkin doesn't want such practices associated with her name.

"Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermes handbags carrying my name ... I have asked Hermes to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place," Birkin said in a statement.

It's quite a change of heart for the woman who inspired the most famous bag in the world.

Birkin inspired the bag's design during a 1981 plane ride with Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas. She told the Telegraph that the contents of her straw bag spilled out, and Dumas remarked, "You should have one with pockets."

'The day Hermès makes one with pockets I will have that," she replied. "But I am Hermès and I will put pockets in for you," Dumas told her. The pair sketched out her ideal bag on an Air France sick bag, and the Birkin was born.

Since then, the bag has achieved super-cult status. Little North West hand-painted a Birkin bag for her mother Kim Kardashian's birthday, and The Devil Wears Prada author Lauren Weisberger wrote a character who called the Birkin a "reason for living."

It's reported that there's a two-year waiting list to buy a Birkin, and the quest to snag the bag was even the subject of a book. The world's most expensive Birkin sold for almost $222,000 earlier this year.

UPDATE: In a statement released Wednesday, Hermès denies using skins from the farm featured in the PETA report: "Hermès imposes on its partners the highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles. For more than 10 years, we have organized monthly visits to our suppliers."

The company said it will investigate its Texas farm and make sure it is compliant with all rules and guidelines. And it claims it has no hard feelings towards Jane Birkin. "Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years," the statement read.

Hermès didn't address the crucial question of whether it will rename the Birkin.

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