One of fashion’s great muses seems to have had a falling out with her designer.
Jane Birkin has requested that Hermès to take her name off the crocodile version of her namesake — and iconic — bag.
After seeing an investigative video by PETA of the inhumane deaths of the crocodiles used to make the bags, Birkin released this statement to Agence France Presse: “Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermès handbags carrying my name … I have asked Hermès to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place.”
Hermès responded with a release late yesterday:
“Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast. An investigation is under way at the Texas farm that was implicated in the video. Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermès specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags.”
This isn’t the first time, and likely not the last, that a muse and a fashion house have feuded.
Natalie Portman & Dior
In 2011, Natalie Portman dropped her relationship with Dior designer John Galliano after the fashion heavy hitter was caught on camera making anti-Semitic comments. The furor shook up the fashion community, and Portman said at the time: “In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way.”
Steve Madden & Iggy Azalea
Another great collaboration gone awry starred footwear giant Steve Madden and Iggy Azalea. Earlier this year, Madden debuted a few images on Tumblr of the upcoming collaboration, and Azalea, in one of her trademark Twitter rants, took aim at the designer for releasing the photos without her approval or knowledge, calling the whole thing “the most disgusting photo shoot ever.” Madden and Azalea made up, though, recasting the public feud a “lover’s quarrel.”
Lululemon & The Court of Public Opinion
In a very un-yoga like fashion, Lululemon’s founder and former chairman, Chip Wilson, fat-shamed his customers by saying that some bodies weren’t meant to wear the company’s high-end athletic apparel. At the time, Lululemon was already suffering from bad publicity after a few of the brand’s pants were discovered to be see-through. In an interview with Bloomberg, Wilson said, “They don’t work for certain women’s bodies.” Despite a public apology, by the end of 2013, the court of public opinion — and Lululemon shareholders — had voted Wilson out.