TikTokers are now giving a masterclass on how to Jane Berk-ify your bag

The English-French cultural icon and OG ‘it’ girl is inspiring a new gen with her accessorizing legacy.

Jane Birkin is known for many things, including her rise to fame in the 60s film scene, her entry into the music industry with the song ‘Je t’aime… moi non plus’, and most importantly, as being the woman behind the most famous bag in fashion history. The Hermés Birkin was named after the cultural icon, and is still one of the most sought-after pieces on the market since its debut in 1984, pricing at around $10,000 for a basic Birkin 25.

The chance encounter that led to the namesake bag happened when the star was sat next to the luxury brand’s chief executive on a plane from Paris to London, and legend has it that the bag was designed on the spot after she ranted about how hard it was to find a purse that fit all her things as a mother of two at the time.

A measly 39 years later, with Jane Birkin at the age of 76 years old, a new generation is dubbing her as the ultimate ‘it’ girl once again, recreating her look for the modern girl about town. On the video platform TikTok, throwbacks are being spliced together of Birkin hanging about with her namesake bag, which despite its price tag, was worn as a means of necessity as opposed to status and luxury. It’s the OG inspiration for slow fashion and loving an item until the seams split, something Birkin did with such style and panache that makes it hard not to follow suit. 

Users on TikTok are obsessed with the fact that Birkin actually used her bag, leaving it battered and bruised to show the daily wear of what has now become an extremely precious item. In their own videos, many can’t afford the hefty price tag of a Hermés but are still showing their versions with large slouchy numbers they bought second-hand – a true ode to Jane Birkin if ever there was one.

Old necklaces are draped between clasps, and keyrings from museums are dangling from the zips. Stickers fade overtime on the side, with discarded ribbons looped through buckles, and old hair bows and safety pins stuck in between. The contents of the bags are spilled out in many of the videos, showing perhaps a Sylvia Plath book, a hair clip, and some cameras hidden in the pockets. “It’s called being a woman,” plays the sounds over the top. The hashtag for Jane Berkifying your bag has reached over 100 million views, with hundreds of videos showing how each woman is accessorizing her own as an ode to the fashion icon’s wear and tear ethos. 

Birkin’s own Birkin held stickers from her travels to the likes of Greece, Palestine, and Israel according to Vogue, with beads hanging off and its insides boasting a Blackberry, photos of her three daughters, and her make-up, all in one big “mess”. Some of her old Birkins hold pen marks, scratches, and even ruined leather from when she used it as a cushion on her travels. “I always hang things on my bags because I don’t like them looking like everyone else’s,” she told Vogue.

There is no formula for Jane Berk-ifying your bag, which is where the magic truly lies. It’s like a form of womanhood to sit and craft your most prized possession, with this community of girls bonding over how they accessorize theirs. So whatever it may be – beads, stickers, necklaces, or ribbons – it would seem a Birkin is for everyone, no matter what bag you have.

WriterElla Chadwick
Banner Image CreditInstagram @janbirkindaily