Only a few days ago, Francesca Eastwood, Clint Eastwood's daughter, and her boyfriend, celebrity photographer Tyler Shields, became the target of online abuse after they posted photos of her destroying what looked like a genuine Birkin crocodile bag. It was a fake, experts say.
As we also noted at the time, the photos showed Francesca taking part in the destruction of the red Hermes Birkin, which retails for no less than $100.000 (€79,681.2).
She and Shields drenched it in gasoline and set it on fire, after which they took a saw to it and cut it in half, in what was meant to be an artistic statement about how earthly possessions do not – or should not – define us.
The online community, though, saw it as a complete waste of money, a shameless one if you consider that, elsewhere in the US and the world, people die of hunger.
As it turns out, Tyler and Eastwood lied about the bag being an original Birkin, with Amanda Mull, managing editor of PurseBlog.com, one of the biggest handbag websites out there, telling Radar Online that it was a fake – and a very pathetic one, while at it.
“The bag depicted in Tyler Shields' photos struck me as a fake as soon as I saw it and the Hermes experts who read our blog and post in our forum agree,” Mull tells the celebrity publication.
“The bag in the pre-burning photo looks thin, wrinkled and plasticky, which are all the signs of a cheap material, probably PVC, that's been embossed with a scale pattern to mimic real crocodile. If it were real the bag would be quite stiff and incredibly smooth with strong handles that wouldn't twist the way that they do in Francesca Eastwood's mouth and material that wouldn't wrinkle or bunch as it does throughout the body of the bag,” she adds.
Confirmation that the bag was a fake also comes from Hermes experts, who also note the absence of the gold lock on it, which is a trademark Birkin element.
Moreover, Mull points out, even if the item the duo destroyed in the making of the photos was real, it wouldn't be worth the kind of money they claim they paid for it.
“A crocodile Birkin similar to the one in the photos would retail for about $38,000 [€30,635.2], far below the $100,000 price tag that's been assigned to it,” Mull says.
While the controversy rages on, Shields has agreed to donate $100K to a family in need – but only if a buyer shows up for one of the photos in questions, which you can see online here.
“If somebody were to buy – all right, let’s do this. If somebody wants to buy one of the Birkin photos, I will donate $100,000 – not to a charity – but to a family. I will give one family in need $100,000 cash, tax-free,” he tells ARTInfo.