MUST READ: BIRKIN BAG SETS ABSURD RECORD PRICE AT AUCTION, THIEVES HIT LOUIS VUITTON STORE IN RIO

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The most expensive bag OF ALL TIME. Photo: Christie'sThe most expensive bag OF ALL TIME. Photo: Christie's

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Wednesday.

Birkin bag sells for record price at auction in Hong Kong
A recent study claimed that Hermès Birkin bags are a better investment than stocks or gold, and an auction sale on Monday in Hong Kong more than confirmed their potential return. An anonymous buyer purchased a 30-centimeter Birkin bag made of rare Himalayan crocodile and diamond-encrusted white gold hardware for the equivalent of $300,168, making it the world’s most expensive handbag ever auctioned. The previous record-holder: a fuchsia diamond-studded Hermès Birkin auctioned for $222,000 last year. {CNN}

PETA protests Hermès's annual meeting in Paris
Speaking of Hermès's use of rare crocodile skin, PETA continues to put pressure on the company after purchasing stock in it last year. The animal rights organization sent a representative to Hermès's annual shareholders' meeting on Tuesday in Paris, who "urged the fashion house to end all exotic-skin sales," per a statement from PETA. Meanwhile, protestors holding large images of ostriches waited outside. {Fashionista inbox}

Does Rodarte actually exist?
Robin Givhan investigates the business, or lack thereof, of cult-favorite fashion brand Rodarte. Despite reported ambitions to expand (designers and sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy declined to comment), the independent label only releases two seasons a year to very few retail points with minimal size ranges and high prices. "But should the industry offer the top CFDA honor to a label that aims to be more of a personal creative outlet than a scalable business?" writes Givhan. {The Washington Post}

Teva collaborates with singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko
In its first celebrity partnership, Teva has teamed up with the Grammy-nominated artist Jhené Aiko on three new women's styles inspired by her childhood friendship bracelets and lifelong love of adventure. The collection is available at Teva.com and DSW.com starting at $60. {Fashionista inbox}

U.S. customs agents bust counterfeit perfume operation
If your Chanel No.5 smells more like urine than citrus, you may have been the victim of a five-man counterfeit operation arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security division this week. Officials confiscated 10,000 boxes of perfumes made from urine, antifreeze and other bad stuff branded as Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Chanel No. 5, Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue, Gucci Guilty and many more popular scents. {The Fashion Law} 

Reports reveal widespread abuse of garment workers in Asia
New reports by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance based on interviews with workers at factories used by H&M, Gap, and Walmart in Cambodia, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia reveal widespread worker abuse. Garment laborers are fired for becoming pregnant and pressured to tolerate sexual harassment as well as suffer wage theft and unsafe work schedules, among other offenses. "Voluntary enforcement is not working, which is why we need binding regulation with grievance procedures, arbitration procedures," says Anannya Bhattacharjee, international coordinator of the AFWA. {Quartz}

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