In 1981, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas boarded a flight from Paris to London. Dumas had just happened to sit next to Jane Birkin, a muse of Serge Gainsbourg and adored actress. As Birkin stood up to leave the flight her straw bag in the overhead compartment feel to the floor. Birkin explained to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked.
Three years later he created a black supple leather bag for her, the Birkin bag.