Birkin: Know the Namesake

April 23, 2008

To celebrate this week’s incredible Portero collection of exotic skin Birkins in bold colors, we’re going behind the scenes…

The story behind the Birkin bag isn’t as elaborate as you might think. In fact, it’s quite practical. According to legend, in 1981 British actress Jane Birkin was struggling with several bags while boarding a plane. Who happened to spot her in this difficult situation? The head of Hermes, of course. The design of the large carryall was then created in her honor, and has since become the most sought-after handbag in the world. 

How much do you know about Jane Birkin, though? The actress, singer and model is as much a style icon today as she was in the ’60s, and for good reason: Birkin’s effortless sense of fashion looks completely au courant and timeless. Her signature bangs, mod shift dresses and trench coats over jeans are just as chic now as they were 40 years ago.
Birkin got noticed when she landed a part in the controversial 1966 film Blowup. Soon after, she met future husband Serge Gainsbourg who would become her creative partner. One of their most famous collaborations was the 1969 song “Je t’aime…moi non plus” (I love you…me neither), which many found too sexually explicit for the time. You can click right here to see filmed vignettes of the couple accompanying the song. Today, Birkin’s career is still going strong, and her filmography is long and varied. 
To see Portero’s spectacular new collection of exotic Birkins, click right here. If you’re in the market for something more neutral, we’ve also got you covered with this selection
And, if you’re just looking for some great current French pop music, check out Nous Non Plus. Serge Gainsbourg is one of their biggest influences, and their music is fun and catchy. Based in New York City, you can’t beat their live show. 
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