Jane Birkin, the French-born actor and singer who captivated France with her British grace, natural style and social activism, has died at the age of 76.
The London-born star and fashion icon was known for her musical and romantic relationship with French singer Serge Gainsbourg.Their songs included some particularly hot ju t’aime moinon plus (i love you i am neither). Her 1969 duet, which intertwined Birkin’s ethereal British accent with her sullen baritone, made her a household name, but was banned in Italy after she was denounced by the Vatican newspapers.
Birkin’s style of the 1960s and early 1970s, long hair with bangs, jeans paired with white tops, knitted mini dresses and basket bags, still epitomizes French chic for many women around the world. doing.
Birkin was also synonymous with her namesake Hermès bags. Created in her honor by her house of fashion in Paris in 1984, her Birkin bag has become one of the world’s most exclusive luxury items and has been priced like a stratosphere for years. A waiting list has been created.
In France, where he was adopted, Birkin was also celebrated for his political activism, Amnesty International, the democracy movement in Myanmar, the fight against AIDS and other causes.
“You can always do something,” Birkin said in 2001, appealing for support for Amnesty International’s campaign against torture. “I can say, ‘I’m not OK with that.'”
She marched with five monks at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival to demand that Myanmar allow foreign aid workers to enter to help cyclone victims.
In 2022, she joins other French film and music stars. locks of their hair To support Iranian protesters. Birkin and Gainsbourg’s daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, an actor herself, cut off part of her mother’s hair for her “HairForFreedom” campaign as Iran was embroiled in anti-government protests.
French President Emmanuel Macron has hailed Birkin as a “perfect artist” and noted that her soft voice goes hand in hand with her “enthusiastic” activist.
“Jane Birkin was a symbol of France because she was the personification of freedom and sang the most beautiful words of our language,” he tweeted in French.
French media reported that Birkin was found dead in his Paris home. The French Ministry of Culture tweeted that Birkin died on Sunday. The newspaper hailed her as “her timeless French-speaking icon”.
Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak called Birkin “the most French Brit” and “a symbol of an entire era that never goes out of style”.
Fans mourned her death outside Birkin’s home on Paris’ Left Bank.
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“She was a poet, a singer, an artist,” said Marie-Joe Bonnet. “She did her best, which is great.”
Includes early film credits for Birkin blow up In 1966, she was credited with helping introduce French audiences to the style and beauty of her “Swinging Sixties”.
Birkin and Gainsbourg met two years later. She remained his muse even after the couple separated in 1980.
She also had a daughter, Kate, with James Bond composer John Barry. Kate Barry died in 2013 at the age of 46. She had a third daughter, singer and model Lou Doillon, in Birkin with French film director Jacques Doillon.
Birkin has been plagued by health problems in recent years that have prevented him from performing and making fewer public appearances.
French broadcaster BFMTV reported that Birkin suffered a minor stroke in 2021 and was forced to cancel that year’s show. She canceled the show again in March due to her broken shoulder blade.
His return to performing was postponed to May, with the singer stating he needed more time and promising fans that he would meet again in the fall.
Despite her decades-long film and music career, Birkin wondered if, to some, her eponymous bag might become her most recognizable legacy. .
This fashion accessory was born out of a chance encounter on a plane to London in the 1980s with Jean-Louis Dumas, then head of Hermès. In a subsequent interview, Birkin said the conversation started when she spilled her belongings on the cabin floor. She asked Dumas why Hermès didn’t make bigger handbags, and on the plane she sketched the kind of bag she wanted.
Later, when I asked Dumas to make a sample and asked if Hermès could commercialize the bag under her name, she happily said yes.
on CBS Sunday Morning 2018 interviewBirkin joked that it might be her most famous thing.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, my obituary will say ‘like a bag’ or something,” she said. “Well, it could be worse.”
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