Yes, that sticker-plastered, hung with worry beads Hermès Birkin belonged to none other than Jane Birkin, who inspired the bag that bears her name back in 1984. (The story goes like this, according to the Telegraph: Birkin was sitting next to Hermès honcho Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight and after the contents of her straw bag spilled from the overhead compartment they got to talking about the perfect weekend bag.)
Birkin, who has offered the bag up as part of a charity auction with proceeds going to the Red Cross’s efforts in Japan, told Vogue.com, “There’s no fun in a bag if it’s not kicked around, so that it looks as if the cat’s been sitting on it—and it usually has. The cat may even be in it! I always put on stickers and beads and worry beads. You can get them from Greece, Israel, Palestine—from anywhere in the world. I always hang things on my bags because I don’t like them looking like everyone else’s.” She also added, with a touch of Eloise, “A Birkin bag is a very good rain hat; just put everything else in a plastic bag.”
And this is why we love Jane Birkin. As the high-priced bag has become one of the ultimate status symbols, most Birkin owners wouldn’t dare let their bags get the tiniest nick, let alone plaster one with stickers, let it serve as a rain hat, or a cat bed, and willingly let it get beat up. Unlike Victoria Beckham, who reportedly owns 100 Birkins, Birkin says she only owns one at a time and doesn’t pass them down to daughters Lou Doillon or Charlotte Gainsbourg because she says, “I think it would be a horrible thing to have a Birkin bag from your mother.” If Jane Birkin is your mother I think it would be not so horrible.