The world has lost a fashion icon today.
Jane Birkin – the singer, actress, and activist who inspired the Hermès bag of the same name – has passed away at the age of 76. According to a report from Le Parisien, she died at her home in Paris on Sunday. Her cause of death is unknown at this time. The heartbreaking news of her death comes just two months after Jane canceled several concerts due to health concerns – and two years after she suffered a stroke. Following the news of her passing, French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Jane, tweeting:
“Because she embodied freedom, because she sang the most beautiful words of our language, Jane Birkin was a French icon. A complete artist, her voice was as sweet as her engagements were fiery. She bequeaths us tunes and images that will never leave us.”
For those who don’t know, Jane was known for her roles in films such as Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile, and Boxes. She also had a career in music, notably singing Je T’aime Moi Non Plus with her then-lover Serge Gainsbourg in 1969. But many know her as the muse for the fashion brand Hermès, which made the Birkin bag in honor of her. She told The New York Times Style Magazine in 2010, per Vogue, that the iconic purse was created after she was seated next to late chairman Jean-Louis Dumas on a plane in the ‘80s:
“I was on an airplane when a plastic bag holding all my things broke and everything fell out—my Date book, papers, everything. Just as I was saying how I wish Hermès would make a bag that could fit all my things, the man sitting next to me happened to work for Hermès – it was Jean-Louis Dumas, the head designer.”
“They already had the Kelly bag, named after Grace Kelly, so he began work on the Birkin bag. I went down to the atelier and he had made it in cardboard. And we talked about it and I said they should make some changes, like making pockets bigger. And that’s how it was made.”
Jane is survived by her two daughters, Charlotte and Lou. The star was also a mom to daughter Kate, who sadly died in 2013. We’re sending love and light to her family at this time. Rest in peace, Jane.
[Image via MEGA/WENN]