Hermès Muse Jane Birkin Laid to Rest After Daughters Carry Her Casket Into Funeral Service

Jane Birkin, a singer, actress and muse for Hermès' iconic handbag, was celebrated during her private funeral at Paris' Saint-Roch Church. She died on July 16 at the age of 76.

By Alyssa Morin Jul 24, 2023 8:55 PMTags
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Jane Birkin has been laid to rest.

The life and legacy of the French star, who served as the muse for Hermès' iconic handbag (yes, the Birkin was named after Jane), was honored at the Saint-Roch Church in Paris on July 24, which came a week after she died on July 16 at the age of 76.

Close friends and family members said their goodbyes to the legendary actress and singer during the private funeral, while fans filled the streets outside to pay their respects.

According to Women's Wear Daily, there was an audible gasp from the crowd as Jane's daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon walked up the steps carrying their mother's casket on their shoulders. As the two held onto the coffin, the outlet reported, Jane's 1983 song "Fuir le bonheur de peur qu'il ne se sauve" ("Running away from happiness lest it run away") played in the background.

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Later, during the memorial service, Charlotte delivered an emotional speech.

"I see all your souls in pain without her," she said, per WWD. "I can already see the void she has left in us. She is my mother, she is our mother."

Charlotte concluded her message by reciting the lyrics of "Jane B.," a song her father Serge Gainsbourg wrote for the style icon.

JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images

Lou, who Jane shared with French director Jacques Doillon, also offered a heartfelt tribute to her mom, recalling some of her favorite memories with her as a child.

"There was you, scaring the hell out of me going to Sarajevo under the bombs because you said I'd be ashamed later that my mother didn't do anything," Lou said. "Thank you for all these adventures, thank you for not having been ordinary, reasonable or docile."

She added, "The world of tomorrow, very peaceful and reasoned, it already upsets me."

Other notable guests in attendance included France's First Lady Brigitte Macron and Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak, as well as Catherine Deneuve, her daughter Chiara Mastroianni, Vanessa Paradis, Carole Bouquet, Charlotte Rampling and Anthony Vaccarello.

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According to WWD, Jane has been laid to rest at the cemetery of Montparnasse, which is located in the south of Paris. She will be buried next to her longtime partner Serge and her late daughter Kate Barry, 46, who she shared with James Bond composer John Barry.

At this time, the Death on the Nile star's death is unknown. However, ABC News previously noted that Jane had been struggling with a number of health issues in recent years, including suffering a stroke in 2021 and a broken shoulder blade in March.

Steve Wood/Evening Standard/Getty Images

In addition to being a famous singer and actress, Jane quickly became a fashion "it girl" in the 1960s and 1970s for wearing denim jeans paired with loose white tops, dressing in knitted minis and rocking basket bags. In fact, her trademark style is often associated with French girl chic.

And there's no denying her name is synonymous with Hermès, as the Parisian brand created the coveted Birkin bag in her honor in 1984.

"I thought, 'On my obituary, it will say, 'Like the bag' or something,'" Jane said in a 2018 CBS Sunday Morning interview. "Well, it could be worse."

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