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Jane Birkin wants her name off Hermes crocodile bag

Style icon Jane Birkin wants her name taken off crocodile-skin versions of the Hermes handbags she inspired.

The Birkin bag has attracted an unlikely critic.

Style icon Jane Birkin, who inspired Hermes (HESAF) to make one of the world's most exclusive handbag ranges, now wants her name taken off a crocodile-skin model.


The British actress is troubled by "cruel practices" used to kill the reptiles and make the coveted totes.

She wants the French luxury fashion house to remove her name from the Birkin Croco "until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place."

Last month, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released footage of crocodiles and alligators being killed at two farms in the U.S. and Africa.

It said the animals were "crudely hacked" in crowded and fetid conditions, and the skins were used to make Hermes bags and watch bands.

The company said it was shocked by the images, but added that one of the farms in the PETA video did not supply skins for Birkins.

It wouldn't say whether Birkin's name would be scrubbed from its crocodile handbags.

"Hermes respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast," the company said in a statement.

"Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years."

The first Birkin bag was designed nearly 30 years ago, and remains much in demand as a fashion accessory. Prices for the crocodile-skin versions start at around $30,000. Shoppers wait for months to get their hands on the purses.

One style lover shelled out a world record $222,000 last month for a shiny fuchsia crocodile Birkin, studded with 18-carat white gold and diamond hardware.

Celebrities and socialites have helped secure the bags' iconic status. Victoria Beckham is reported to own 100 of the purses, while supermodel Kate Moss and singer Jennifer Lopez are other high profile fans.

But animal rights activists have slammed the practices used to produce them. PETA said it takes three crocodiles to make one Birkin bag.

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk called on the luxury brand to "stop plundering wildlife."

"Once, Birkin bags marked people as celebrities or at least members of the super rich, but soon, no one will want to be caught dead carrying one," she said.

By Virginia Harrison