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Tributes pour in for fashion icon Jane Birkin; Model, actor, and activist dies aged 76 in Paris

British-French singer, actress and style icon has have been known as the inspiration for the Birkin bag

Tributes pour in for British-born actress and singer Jane Birkin, who has died in Paris aged 76.

A 1960s wild child who became a beloved figure in France, known for inspiring one of the best-known lines of luxury handbags, passed away on Sunday.

Jane Birkin was an icon of the 60s and 70s who defined French style, inspiring the most famous handbag in history.

Her death was confirmed by President Emmanuel Macron of France, who called her “a French icon” in a message on Twitter.

The French news media reported that Birkin was found dead at her home but that the cause was not immediately known.


It happen when Jane Birkin was on a flight in 1984, and a plastic bag in which she was keeping her possessions broke, leading her to complain aloud that Hermès did not make a bag that could fit all her things.

This was heard by the man sitting next to her, who happened to be Jean-Louis Dumas, the chairman and head designer of Hermès. The company released the Birkin bag line the same year — in just the large size she had requested.

Standard Birkin bags are now being sold for $10,000, and the difficulties of obtaining one — given a complex manufacturing process and a deliberately rationed supply to boutiques — have given the bag the cachet of exclusivity.

British-French singer, actress, and style icon may have been known as the inspiration for the Birkin bag, but she has been much more for her fans and followers.


The relationship lasted for more than a decade, ending when she left him in the early 1980s for the French film director Jacques Doillon. Gainsbourg died in 1991 at 62.


Birkin also continued to act, including in films by Agnès Varda and plays by Patrice Chéreau.

She was also popular in France for being an activist for women’s and L.G.B.T.Q. rights.

Tributes continue to pour in on social media timelines, remembering the icon.






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