Jane birkin, 70s

Jane Birkin, the muse behind the iconic Birkin bag from Hermès, has left a void in the world. The beloved British singer, actress, and fashion icon died at 76. The French Ministry of Culture expressed its condolences in a heartfelt tweet, acknowledging her as a “timeless French-speaking icon.”

While the exact cause of Birkin’s death remains unknown, reports indicate that she battled various health issues in recent years. A stroke in 2021 and a broken shoulder blade earlier this year compelled her to cancel several concerts in May, underscoring the challenges she faced.


Born in London in December 1946, Birkin found her true home in France at 20 when she moved to Paris to pursue her acting career.

Birkin showcased her acting skills in notable films like the 1966 classic “Blow Up,” “Death on the Nile” (1978), and “Evil Under the Sun” (1982). Her performances captivated audiences and solidified her status as a multifaceted artist.

Although Birkin gained fame through her artistic pursuits, her exceptional sense of style propelled her to fashion icon status in France during the 1960s and ‘70s. Her impact was so profound that it inspired the creation of one of the world’s most desirable and luxurious handbags – the Birkin bag by Hermès, named after her. Even today, the Birkin bag is a symbol of sophistication and exclusivity.

"Bonhams Designer Fashion And Handbags Sale" At Bonhams - Photocall©GettyImages
Jane Birkin’s Birkin, estimated value of £15,000 – $20,000

The captivating narrative of the Birkin bag commences with the encounter of Jean-Louis Dumas, the CEO of Hermès, and Birkin during a flight to London. While on the flight, Birkin was struggling with a straw basket, and upon noticing her difficulty, Dumas inquired about her situation.

Birkin shared her ongoing struggle to find a leather bag that fulfills her needs, and this heartfelt conversation moved Dumas. In response to Birkin’s dilemma, Hermès took the initiative to create the iconic Birkin bag, which was meticulously designed to cater exclusively to her requirements.

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2005 Fashion Show©GettyImages
Jane Birkin attends the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2005 Fashion Show during Paris Fashion Week on July 8, 2004 in Paris, France.

Birkin expressed her opinion in a 2018 interview, stating that she would have preferred to be someone who carries a tidy Kelly bag, which is named after the famous movie star Grace Kelly. Nevertheless, she felt that the Kelly bag needed to offer more room for her. Hence, the Birkin bag was created to be four times bigger than the Kelly bag, allowing for both practicality and sophistication.

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, paid tribute to Birkin, highlighting her embodiment of freedom and her ability to sing the most beautiful words of the French language. “Because she embodied freedom, because she sang the most beautiful words of our language, Jane Birkin was a French icon.” He continued, “A complete artist, her voice was as sweet as her engagements were fiery. She bequeaths us tunes and images that will never leave us.”

Jane Birkin’s life was one of artistry, love, and resilience. Her presence in the world will be deeply missed, but her legacy as an empathetic and captivating artist will endure for generations to come.

Sign up to our newsletter to stay in touch with your cultura. Get the latest on your favorite celebrities, royals, and the best beauty, fashion, and lifestyle news delivered right to your inbox!

Share This Article