For many, a distressed and worn-down Birkin bag is something of a point of pride. Overstuffing and toting around your Hermès bag to the point of almost shabbiness is a time honored tradition. However the world of high fashion TikTok—which has proven to have an extremely short memory—it’s currently getting a lot of notice.
There is a burgeoning interest in those who don’t keep their Birkins and Kellys on a pedestal in their closet, but instead wear them and take them out, and, as a result, their bags show signs of that use. The trend has grown so large that it has gained the attention of Julia Fox, who used it as an opportunity to show off the condition of her own bag, which has absolutely seen better days.
“A lived-in Birkin is so chic because it suggests that a Birkin is not something so special that you have to keep it pristine,” TikToker @prettycritical recently commented on the subject. “Instead, it’s an everyday luxury for you and you’re comfortable using expensive things day in and day out.” That’s where Fox came in. She shared her own video, cutting into @prettycritical’s commentary saying, “Shall we? I think so.” Fox then pulled out her charcoal gray Birkin 25. “So, I love her,” Fox said, starting off the video. “But she’s been through a lot.” The actress zoomed into the top of the bag, where a one-inch slice is clearly visible. “She was actually attacked by a machete,” Fox explained. Another shot of the side showed more damage. “You can see a little bit of where the machete slipped and hit the side of the bag too.”
And with that, Fox may have just won the unofficial distressed Birkin off. Unfortunately, she didn’t provide a story time on how, when, and why she got attacked by a machete, but considering Fox has very much proven to be “for the people,” it’s possible that if we ask nicely enough, she will oblige and share the tale.
Now, the question you’re probably asking (other than “How the hell did that happen?”) is whether or not it’s the same bag Kanye West got Fox for her birthday earlier this year? As a reminder, Fox was still dating West during her 32nd birthday in February, and as part of his gift to her, he surprised Fox and four of her friends with Birkins. All signs point to this being a different bag, however, and not the one from West, which looks to have been black ostrich leather.
Fox’s machete-slashed Birkin means she now joins the ranks of A-Listers with chicly beat up Hermès bags. Of course, the originator of this trend was Jane Birkin herself, who was known for overstuffing her own eponymous bag. In fact, that’s partly why the Birkin was invented in the first place. The actress was on the plane in the ‘80s carrying her then-trademark wicker basket bag when everything fell out of it. The man sitting next to her suggested she get a bag with pockets to fit all of her things. “And I said, ‘What can you do, Hermès doesn’t make it with pockets,” Jane recalled in an interview with CBS This Morning. At the time, she was unaware that she was sitting next to Hermès’ then-executive chairman, Jean-Louis Dumas. His response? “I am Hermès.” From there, the two started talking, with Birkin sketching her idea on the back of a vomit bag—something bigger than a Kelly, but smaller than her Hermès suitcase. Hermès made Jane that bag (and many others since then) and she got a whole lot of use out of it. The actress was often photographed holding her Birkin under her arm, stuffed with papers, with chains and threads handing off the front. “I just thought it was more fun to hang things off it,” she said in another CBS interview. “So, I hang my watch off it and all my boobles and bangles and beads because when you walk around they jingle and jangle.”
Since then, others have joined the pantheon of distressed Hermès bag owners. Probably most notable, other than Jane herself, are the Olsen twins, whose Kelly bags are famous for their worn-out nature. Also on the Mount Rushmore of distressed Hermès bag owners is Lindsay Lohan, who for years carried around a black Birkin 40, with a slouch worthy of envy. Now, Fox can join this elite group of women, and bring a new kind of worn aesthetic to the table. Not covered in baubles or overstuffed, worn down or distressed, but sliced right through with a machete. That’s Fox for you, always an original.