Famous Beauty James Birkin in 1970
Uh oh Jane Birkin wants her name back. That's right, the inimitable namesake of Hermes' iconic handbag has requested that the brand cease from using her surname.
It turns out that Birkin has taken issue with the use of crocodile skin on the Birkin Croco, which she believes involves animal cruelty.
In a statement issued by her agent, Birkin has said: "I have asked Hermès to rename the Birkin Croco until they adopt better practices that meet international standards for the production of this bag." This could spell trouble for Hermes, who have used her surname ever since the legendary flight that Jean-Louis Dumas (the late head of the brand) took with Birkin in the 1980s.
Hermes is not alone in using real-life nomenclature for its merchandise – the fashion and beauty industry are both at it. Make-up artists and perfumers especially have always been inspired by characters past and present and it has long been standard to evoke a brand's heritage by using iconic names to label their products. Read on for a couple of our favorites.
The Product: Bella Freud Ginsberg is God
Named After: Allan Ginsberg
Who was he? A revolutionary American poet of the 1950s, Ginsberg was an anti-capitalist Buddhist, who championed freedom of speech and anti-militarism.
Why Him? The unisex fragrance was created with “the tousled headed poet surrounded by books and papers, the scent of green leaves and spring drifting in through the open windows" in mind. It’s a heady scent, that is already becoming cult and contains notes of notes of Frankincense, Wormwood and Leather with spicy hints (in line with Ginsberg’s poetry of course) of Black Pepper.
The Product: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria
Named After: Victoria Beckham
Who is she? Victoria started her career as part of the mega girl band of the nineties The Spice Girls. Right from the off Posh Spice had a very definite makeup “look” – dark nude lips and that severe jet black lob. Nowadays she is a high fashion designer with longer locks and a more natural “I’ve just had a facial” makeup look.
Why Her? VB one of Charlotte Tilbury’s regular client and Tilbury is key make-up artist at Beckham’s RTW fashion shows in New York. This matte, suade taupey nude is a gentle reminder of the posh spice of the past, whilst also sitting in line with the fresh faced aesthetic of Victoria’s fashion label.
The Product: Chanel Rouge Coco in Etienne
Named After: Étienne Balsan
Who was he? Infamously reported on as Coco Chanel’s lover in the early 1900s, Etienne was a major part of Coco’s life. Not only did he help her ease her was into Parisian society he also helped her to open her boutique in Belville. Although they began as lovers they remained friends for life. Etienne was a was an officer in the French Cavalry and an heir to an industrialist firm which provided army uniforms including the famous cloth known as the “blue Horizon”.
Why Him? This seductive shade of grape is an incredibly romantic shade. Could it be a reference to the wine crimson epaulettes of the French Cavalry uniform? Or perhaps to the rich French wine that Coco and Etienne drank together on date night? It is certainly the standout shade of the Rouge Coco lipstick collection.