We Can't Handle How Cool Jane Birkin Looks in Converse Trainers

The term "style icon" is thrown around all too easily, but in the instance of Jane Birkin, the claim is indisputable. Now 70 years old, both her insouciance and her indelible mark on the fashion industry remains. Young girls still fervently channel her circa 1968 wardrobe, while older women look to her as a beacon of what's possible in your more mature years. Both camps will be delighted to know that, upon being photographed and interviewed by luxury leather-goods brand Smythson, she wore unlaced, scuffed-up Converse sneakers. Oh, to be a grown woman making such laissez-faire fashion choices.

Only a few hours ago did Birkin also meet her modern, self-confessed imitator, Alexa Chung, for an interview at the V&A museum. Chung dedicated her entire weekend to posting archival shots of the English actress and musician, while @janebirkindaily continues to gather a fan club, adding to its 128k-strong following. The world's obsession shall never waver, and with the kind of cool, collected and candid quotes like those below, it will only grow stronger. Keep reading to see Birkin's views on travelling in style, what she buys from Duty-Free and which fashion items she's owned for over 50 years.

Jane Birkin on packing her suitcase

Photo:

Annemarieke van Drimmelen for Smythson

"I admire people who have a travel suit and haven't forgotten where they put their earplugs because they've got everything stored in a little pouch—but I've never been organised on a plane, ever. I try and travel light. For in-flight luggage, the Smythson Burlington Holdall (£1395) is just the thing, or the Hermés bag I designed."

Jane Birkin on Duty-Free shopping

Photo:

Annemarieke van Drimmelen for Smythson

"I go through Duty-Free, and I don't know how people manage to be so chic! I buy everything! I can't resist. Sisley—I pick that up in airports—there's a pump that's wonderful that you can use day and night. In Germany, if you can find Dr Hauschka, it's a bit of a thrill."

Jane Birkin on English versus French style

Photo:

Annemarieke van Drimmelen for Smythson

"The French are more sophisticated, but perhaps the English are more original … I came to Paris for the first time because I was sent to a finishing school. The French girls used to mock us in the Metro, they could see we were English because we were so badly dressed. They were all impeccable, but they were all quite the same. It wasn't yet the swinging '60s, and we didn't know how to turn ourselves out."

Jane Birkin on "borrowing" from hotels

Photo:

Annemarieke van Drimmelen for Smythson

"In terms of 'borrowing' things from hotels, I've stolen a few cushions from Air France. I used to steal from Maxims, but all the waiters were in on it. I used to fill my basket with all its plates. I even had the silverware under my shirt once, and when I went to sign autographs on the way out it all fell out."

Jane Birkin on wardrobe classics

Photo:

Annemarieke van Drimmelen for Smythson

"After toiletries, I'm always wearing the same thing, so I pack a couple of shirts, a couple of pairs of trousers and that's it! I go to Agnès B—I always wear her silk tops, I have one that is 50 years old. She re-did one for me for the show. My daughter, Lou, is a great person for fashion; she takes me to Isabel Marant, and I go and pick up things from Hermès because they let me—I like its men's V-neck cashmere jerseys. I've always liked Dries Van Noten, and then there's Saint Laurent for the shirts and ties, and the eternal Le Smoking suit, which has gone on being wonderful for fifty years."