Albane Cleret: Queen of the Cannes party scene

Parisian oversees Orange Costes, Heaven's Floor by Albane

Behind every great Cannes is a great woman. The woman in question is Albane Cleret, queen of Parisian fetes, who has single-handedly transformed the festival's day- and nightlife.
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By day she runs the Orange Costes beach restaurant, unofficial headquarters of the French film business in Cannes. By night she presides over Le Jimmy'z, the members-only club notorious for its strict door policies, which welcomes only international celebrities and the French film business elite.

This year, Jimmy'z has a new name, Heaven's Floor by Albane, along with a new look and an even stricter door policy. Cleret's crew will scan members' cards, and photos of the cardholders will appear on the screen in front of the bouncers, preventing anyone not on the list from entering.

So what makes Albane's club the hottest ticket on the Riviera? She does. Cleret is known for her coveted address book, a priceless possession that has taken years to accumulate and that lists between 1,500 and 2,000 celebrity "friends."

The fit 37-year-old mother of one blends in with the chic clubgoers with her slick black hair, perfectly painted face and fashionable outfits. The international jet-setteuse worked in London and New York before settling in Paris. In 2002, she launched Albane Cleret Communication, a PR and events management company specializing in movie premieres, boutique inaugurations and high-profile events like the Cesar Awards afterparty. In 2003 she opened Jimmy'z. She welcomes 400 guests to the beach by day and around 400 per night at Heaven's Floor, so she needs to be in fine form.

This marks the first year that the behind-the-scenes superstar will impose her own name -- "by Albane" -- on the club, counting on her celebrity friends to stand by her. While Cleret has no trouble attracting the high-end Paris crowd, Jimmy'z was always very Francocentric, despite the occasional visit by Harvey Weinstein, Sharon Stone or Mick Jagger. "It's still too French for my taste," Cleret acknowledges. Now she's hoping a new name and the recent Franco-Hollywood love affair will shake things up.

"Marion Cotillard loves to come, and there's a lot of Franco-American business to be done after hours," she notes.
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