How come the beautiful Jane Birkin (1946-2023), singer, songwriter, actress and supreme name in fashion, is seen in lots of photos holding a very common wicker basket that looks like it came out of an Algarve fishing village 40 years ago? Well, because that’s exactly what she has in her hands – and just by carrying it around, she turned it into an iconic accessory of entirely Portuguese origin.

On a trip to the Algarve in the 1970s, Birkin fell in love with the object and adopted it forever as a go-to. The humble basket came to accompany her in the most varied situations, whether she was shopping in Paris boutiques, going out with her partner, the musician and actor Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991), or traveling. She often personalized the basket by wrapping the handle in a pretty scarf.

The basket has no name and no copyright. It’s simply Jane Birkin’s wicker basket. Or, rather, Jane Birkin’s Portuguese wicker basket. Today, several accessory brands sell it in tasteful collections, commissioning it from the same Algarve craftsmen she bought it from in the 70s.

That’s how Birkin, a master of elegance and simplicity, elevated Portuguese folk talent to an essential reference point in world fashion.