The British star has been the namesake of the best-selling "Birkin bags" since 1984, but she wants out following an investigative report by officials at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which accused Hermes bosses of using cruel methods on crocodiles to acquire their skin.

Birkin called for the dissociation in a statement which reads: "Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermes bags carrying my name... I have asked Hermes Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag."

PETA's report alleges the reptiles are raised and killed specifically for production of the Birkin bag and other Hermes products featuring crocodile skin, claiming it takes two to three of the beasts to make just one handbag.

The luxury item currently ranges in price from $10,000 (£6,250) to $150,000 (£93,750).

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk praised Birkin for her stance against Hermes, saying in a statement: "PETA, on behalf of all kind souls in the world, thanks Ms Birkin for ending her association with Hermes, which makes grotesque handbags that were revealed in a PETA expose to be constructed from the skins of factory-farmed and cruelly slaughtered crocodiles.

"Once, Birkin bags marked people as celebrities or at least members of the super-rich, but soon, no one will want to be caught dead carrying one, and animal advocates will then breathe a sigh of relief."