Jane Birkin bag auction
Credit: Jean-Claude Deutsch/Paris Match via Getty Images; Courtesy

Before the Cara, before the Alexa, there was the Hermés Birkin, still perhaps the most coveted celebrity bag of all. Its muse was actress Jane Birkin, a Swinging Sixties London starlet famous for her steamy (and at the time scandalous) duet with French singer Serge Gainsbourg called Je t’aime (moi non plus). As the story goes, Birkin inspired the bag after she met the boss of Hérmes on a flight in 1981 and complained about her unsatisfactory straw tote.

Now Birkin is auctioning the last of her four original eponymous bags to benefit Anno’s Africa, a charity that supports arts programs for children in Nairobi's urban slums that was founded in honor of her late nephew, a poet and musician. "To be able to bring art and dance, music and circus and a bit if fun and self worth to children who have nothing...what better end for this Birkin bag?" she said.

Birkin has been letting go of her namesake accessories over the years. Her first bag was auctioned in 2011, when it was reportedly bought by Victoria Beckham. For this offering, Birkin has added a few personalized touches, including whiteout and a little red tie around one of the handles.

Charlotte Gainsbourg Balenciaga bag auction
Credit: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images; Courtesy

Bonus: Birkin is not the only celebrity donating gently-used personal items to the auction, which is running live on eBay until September 14. You can also bid for a Balenciaga City bag signed by its previous owner, actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (Birkin’s daughter), as well as a vintage dress worn on tour by Lana del Rey, the jacket Dame Judi Dench wore as M in The World Is Not Enough, and a chiffon gown designed and worn at Cannes by Milla Jovovich. And let’s not forget offerings for the guys, including the sharp suit Benedict Cumberbatch wore in Sherlock (signed by the man himself) or one of James Bond’s shirts from Skyfall, autographed and donated by Daniel Craig. Talk about a glamorous way to shop for good!

To bid, visit