Born in Britain, Birkin was known for her relationship with songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, with whom she recorded “Je T’aime…moi non plus”.

She also inspired the Hermès Birkin bag after a chance encounter with then-CEO Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight where she spilled the contents of her bag and bemoaned the lack of large bags on the market for women.

This led Dumas to develop the spacious holdall leather bag that would become the Birkin, now one of the brand’s most exclusive styles, costing tens of thousands of dollars with a waiting list of months or years.

In a statement, Hermès said of Birkin’s passing: “We are deeply saddened to have learned of the passing of Jane Birkin. Our thoughts are with her daughters, grandchildren, and her loved ones. We have lost a close friend and a long-time companion.

“With a friendship founded on a shared sensitivity, we grew to know each other, we discovered and appreciated the extent to which Jane Birkin’s soft elegance revealed an artist in her own right, committed, open-minded, with a natural curiosity of the world and others.

“We salute Jane Birkin’s talent, and above all her great humanity as we join her family in mourning.”