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A version of this story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
There always are a few slightly familiar red carpet regulars that elicit a “Qui?” from photographers and fans alike when they arrive on the red carpet, but they aren’t the has-beens or wannabes that descend on the city try to crash Cannes’ biggest parties. They’re a group of well-connected international socialites that jet in just for the festivities, and despite loose ties to the film industry, these less-known A-listers have no problem scoring the most coveted invites up and down the Cote d’Azur.
Lady Victoria Hervey
The 38-year-old former Brit “It” girl once was called England’s answer to Paris Hilton. Hervey became famous getting snapped by paparazzi from England to her adopted home of Los Angeles, and she caused a furor at 2013’s Cannes premiere of Blood Ties when she lingered too long on the red carpet.
Product-placement guru and film producer Generale, 43, is behind endorsement deals for Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. He also co-hosts the occasional fete alongside pal John Travolta, who with wife Kelly Preston helped Generale propose to his girlfriend on 2014’s amfAR red carpet.
It practically isn’t a Cannes carpet unless 30-something Israeli socialite, fashion designer and occasional TV host Golan graces it. The avid Instagrammer often poses with her bestie Victoria Bonya.
A former waitress, Miss Russia, Playboy model and reality star before marrying Irish hotel heir Alexander Smurfit, the new mom has shifted her focus to acting. The 35-year-old had a role in last year’s Russian farce Stepanich’s Mexican Trip and is rumored to have landed a role in the upcoming French horror film La Dame Blanche after star Nabila stabbed her boyfriend in a brawl.
Best known for her blog The Blonde Salad, the 28-year-old former law student chronicles her outfits daily for 3.6 million Instagram followers. She has collaborated with Dior, Louis Vuitton and Benetton and is paid well by designers to pose in their gowns on the Cannes carpet.
Self-proclaimed provocateur Pigozzi, 53, goes by “Johnny” among friends and with viewers of his 2014 reality series on Esquire Network. When not anchored off the Cannes coast, he invests in tech startups and environmental research and runs a menswear label.
An L.A. girl made good, the Russian-born Angeleno, a former fashion designer, founded the London-based conceptual magazine Garage as well as Moscow’s Center for Contemporary Culture, and is LACMA’s youngest board member. The 33-year-old is married to Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of England’s Chelsea Football League.
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