LE BIRKIN BASKET
I STUMBLED UPON ERIN THOMPSON'S shop and Instagram feed @lebirkinbasket through a friend and was so excited to be able to collaborate with her! Her Jane Birkin-inspired "Birkin basket" is the perfect chic accessory for spring, whether you take it to the farmer's market, the library, as a beach tote, or more done up to a summer fete-- all places I'll be taking mine in the upcoming months! She just introduced two more sizes so the range now includes mini, small, standard (the one I have), and large. There's a waiting list so head over to her shop asap!
Read on to find out more about Erin, her love of Jane Birkin, and just how much you can fit into your Birkin basket.
How did you get started with lebirkinbasket?
I have been inspired by Jane Birkin's effortless style for so long and gravitate towards images of her with her signature basket. It's such an unexpected accessory and I love how she would pair her basket with everything from denim to a really glam dressed up look for an event. I started collecting other basket bags but continued to lust for one just like Jane's. My background is in product development, so I decided to see if I could have one made. I ended up finding an artisan in Portugal who was still making baskets like this, and I immediately started work with them. It started with an order for myself and then I decided to have a handful more made after I was getting stopped on the street by girls who were interested in my bag. After that, everything happened pretty organically. Our baskets are made with cane, are completely vegan and chemical free. We help support a community of artisans who are still crafting by hand!
When/where did you first see Jane Birkin and has she always been a big style influence for you? Many years ago, I came across images of Jane Birkin during the '60s and '70s and became totally inspired by her style. She is such an ethereal, natural beauty, and her personal style is so simple and chic. She has totally influenced my style. I try to approach outfits with the mindset that less is more. I definitely have a uniform (jeans + t-shirt +mules) and the Le Birkin Basket goes with everything!
Favorite Jane Birkin movie/song?
"Te souviens-tu?" from the album Rendez-vous.
What's the process in making these baskets?
The artisans use fresh cane from a local river in Portugal and weave them together without the use of a mold to form the shape of the base and the lid. They weave the cane while it is still freshly cut so that it's malleable. The baskets actually start off green and then turn a creamy tan color when they dry. Some baskets have a little color to them too depending on the natural color of the cane. Technique varies by the hand of each maker so no two baskets are the exact same shape or size, but they come close!
What's in your ideal birkin basket?
I have each size of our baskets, so I literally use them for everything-- as my purse, as an overnight bag, as a beach tote and at the farmers market. They are durable and waterproof, so I truly use them all day long as needed. Today, I'm using our new mini size as my purse and here is what's inside: A Delfonics card holder with my business cards and my Comme des Garçons black leather wallet. I don't leave the house without rosewater spray by Heritage Stone and at least 3-5 lip colors. Today, I have chapstick from Dimes in NYC, and Generation G by Glossier in Like and Zip. I like to mix up my lip color throughout the day. I also have sunglasses by Garrett Leight, a silver Juicy Paint pen that I got last week in Japan, and my phone and keys, of course.