Shield Your Eyes, Kids: This Is What a Birkin Looks Like Being Destroyed
May 30, 2012 - by Lester Brathwaite
A Birkin and god knows how many dreams. Oh the humanity! The haute-manity!
As you may have read, Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint Eastwood and star of E!'s Mrs. Eastwood & Company, decided to make an artistic statement with boyfriend/photographer Tyler Shields. The result was the destruction of one of the most -- if not the most -- coveted luxury items in the world, the Hermès Birkin bag.
Some would say artistic statement, everyone else would say publicity stunt. And there has, understandably, been a backlash with people taking to Eastwood's Facebook and Twitter pages to respectfully disagree -- "Youre a stupid whore. How fucking dumb can you be" -- and even post the occasional death threat.
But Francesca Eastwood doesn't give a what and thinks people just don't understand art...eh, okay.
Each Birkin bag takes about 48 hours to make, painstakingly handcrafted by highly-trained Hermès artisans, which explains why there are waiting lists for as long as six years. Bags can run up to $150,000 so, you know...I get it.
The Birkin is a status symbol, representing wealth and success and moreover, excess -- this isn't the MoMA for couture's sake. Destroying it sends a very clear message -- literally burning money -- but what's really hard to understand is who foot the bill for this artistic statement. Of course, if it's a knockoff it deserves to be burned, but what of the poor artisans? That bag represented hours and hours of work just so some 18-year-old and her boyfriend can get their Warhol on.
It should be noted, however, that said artistic statement was accompanied by this disclaimer: "Make sure you check out MRS. EASTWOOD and COMPANY this SUNDAY and MONDAY NIGHT 10PM on E!"
There's a fine line between being an artist and just being an idiot. And I think that line just got snorted in the bathroom of [insert flavor-of-the-week L.A. nightclub here]. [Telegraph]