Friday, September 12, 2014


Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg auction off their handbags for a good cause

Jane Birkin is auctioning off her fourth Hermès namesake bag for charity, while her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg has donating her signed Balenciaga City bag | 2014. 09.10

For the fourth time, the British woman who inspired the iconic Hermès Birkin bag is auctioning off her very own defaced accessory to benefit a charity. Jane Birkin's Birkin is being sold on eBay, along with her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg's signed Balenciaga City bag, with all proceeds going to Anno's Africa.

The UK-based charity was set up in honour of Birkin's poet nephew, Anno Birkin, who died just before his 21st birthday in a car crash. Bearing his name, the charity offers an alternative arts education to orphans and vulnerable children in some of Africa's most desperately deprived city slums.
She exclusively told The Telegraph: "My handbag is being auctioned off to help a charity called Anno's Africa. That this epitome of 'chic Parisienne' should end up being useful in the Kenya slums... I'm very proud…By it's sale, to be able to bring art and dance, music and circus and a bit of fun and self worth to children who have nothing… to bring lightness and a future to hundreds of children in these slums, to permit artists to go there and work with these children… What better end for this Birkin bag than to help this cause, Anno's Africa in memory of that poet's name."
Although the covetable bag's starting price has been set at £10,000, the item is expected to sell for at least £30,000 - if not more. In 2011, the Sixties icon donated her original Birkin bag to benefit earthquake relief efforts in Japan, and it fetched £100,100 on ebay. It was rumoured to have been bought by Victoria Beckham, who supposedly added that to her list of 100 versions of the bag sat in her bursting collection.

It is therefore expected that this sale will be no different, and will go on to raise a huge amount of money for a charity very close to Birkin's heart.
The bag has, of course, been somewhat defaced by the actress, with Tipex marks on the black leather and a little red tie on one of the handles. Famous for defacing her Birkin bags, the actress started somewhat of a trend. She explained to in 2011: "I always hang things on my bags because I don't like them looking like everyone else's…There's no fun in a bag if it's not kicked around, so that it looks as if the cats been sitting on it - and it usually has. The cat may even be in it."
Even caught standing on her Birkin on Japanese TV, the down-to-earth actress led many other celebrities to make their own mark on the famous designer tote. Read herehow Kim Kardashian, Rita Ora and Lady Gaga got creative with their expensive accessories.

It is rumoured that this is the last of Birkin's Birkin collection, after she explained that she has only owned four of her namesake totes since the first was created for her back in 1984. The bag came about after Hermès boss, Jean-Louis Dumas met Birkin on a flight where she complained about her straw handbag. It is arguably the most famous namesake bag out there, as designers continue to cash in on the trend, most recently with Cara Delevingne's Mulberry backpack.

As well as Birkin and Gainsbourg's donations, the charity auction is also filled with many other items from the fashion world's rich and famous. Milla Jovovich wore a chiffon dress from her own label to Cannes, which she has signed and donated to the good cause. Twiggy, Dame Judi Dench and Lana Del Rey, amongst others, are also auctioning off their goods to benefit Anno's Africa.
If this is Birkin's last Birkin, we are hoping Hermès will grant the actress with a new model for her to draw all over, attach stickers, stand on and eventually donate to a worthy cause.

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