Palace Hotels of the
Cremerie de

Coco Chanel vers 1919
Coco Chanel
photo probably by Marie Romanov
Coco ChanelChiffre 5 sur l'escalier d'honneur de l'Hotel de Villeroychiffre 5 de Chanel
Coco Chanel et le Duc de Westminster en 1926Duc de WestminsterAimee de Heeren en 1939
Le chiffre 5 existe des deux côtés de la rembarde de l'escalierCoco Chanel avec Cecil BeatonCoco Chanel, un talent extraordinaire passé par la Cremerie de Paris ... au fil du temps
Coco Chanel, styliste, icône et phénomène de Mode
Ancienne cliente de la première Cremerie de Paris
Cremerie de Paris has a long history .... époque first Cremerie
The people that work in today's Cremerie de Paris (expo center for Very Beautiful Brands)
never had the chance to meet Coco Chanel in person ....
the borders of time have seperated us.
Coco Chanel died already 40 years ago, January 1971.

Coco Chanel in july 1939Aimee de Heeren in 1939
But in 1999 destiny has send a close friend of Coco Chanel,
to the Cremerie de Paris at the time it was an Internet Cafe.
The Lady was very unusual ...
she was already almost 100 years old (at the time we did not know her real age)
but she was full of life
and so beautiful everybody turned around whenever she arrived at the cafe.

She had heared about the "phenomenon Internet"
and she wanted to have a little idea about it.
... and of course she was very amused to tell "old people"
(20, 30, 40 years younger than her)
that she used to surf on the net ...

The name of the Lady was Aimée de Heeren,
once the "secret first Lady" of Brazil.
She had to leave her country in 1938
and she knew Coco Chanel since that time ...

view into the courtyard of the Hotel de Villeroy from the Cremerie de ParisCourtyard of the Hotel de Villeroy picture by Eugene Atget
One day, after an internet lesson at the Cybercafe,
the editor of this article
showed the beautiful courtyard of our Hotel de Villeroy
to Aimée de Heeren ...
but Aimée already knew it
she had been there ...

about 40 years before,
in the 1960s ....
She was accompanied by a woman that was very lonely
and that entered history
as one of the most famous fashion designers of all times.

Late evening walks around Paris
Aimée de Heeren enjoyed to go on long evening walks
around Paris and she was always
looking for a friend to keep company ...

Aimée de Heeren one day
around the year 2000
after taking an Internet Lesson in the Cremerie de Paris
(at the time an Internet Café), talking to the editor of this website:
Aimee de Heeren at the Cremerie de Paris

" Oh I recognize this couryard ... how pretty it looks nowadays ....
I have been her already ... a long time ago with a friend,
you were not born yet at that time.

My friend died a long time ago,
she was very lonely and sometimes she accompanied me
for my evening walks.
We had a lot to talk about ...

Does the staircase with the number 5 still exist ?
Oh there it is ...
How beautiful it still is ...
This staircase would have such interesting stories to tell ...

This staircase always fascinated my friend,
you probably know
her name:
Coco Chanel.

By the way do you know
the meaning of the number "5"
forged in the stair railing ?
My friend always wanted to know the signification
as she had invented a perfume which was using the same number "5"
.... but there was nobody who could tell us ???
.... she was very supersticious at the number "5"
had something magical.
All we knew that this couryard must have been a legendary spot.

Joseph Kennedy JrCoco Chanel donnait des quantités d'echantillons à AiméeJackie Kennedy dressed in Chanel
Did I tell you that Coco Chanel always gave me lots of samples
small bottles of her perfume Chanel N°5
and lots of custom jewellery,
she gave them to me so that I would distribute them in the United States and in Brazil.
This way my friend
Jackie Kennedy discovered her brand.
Her late brother in law Joseph was my boyfriend when I arrived in New York.
He was so georgeous, it's so sad he was killed during the war.

These samples were very conveniant for me,
I never needed to buy flowers or chocolates
when I was invited somewhere ...
People loved the perfume and the little jewels.

I even kept some of the jewels.
Do you remember the bracelet I was wearing last week ?
It was one of them ...
... they are so pretty.
I keep them as little treasures ...

Aimee de Heeren and Aparicida in front of the Cremerie de Paris in 2001
Aimée de Heeren in front of the Cremerie de Paris in 2001

Decades later Aimée de Heeren made the same kind of long evening walks
with the editor of this website ...
and there was a lot of time to tell all these fascinating stories about the past,
increadible stories related to many famous people of the 20th century
... Coco Chanel was part of them.

Very personal stories you cannot find in the official archives
of the Chanel fashion house
neither in the very well written biographies of Justine Picardie ....

Coco Chanel at the Hotel Ritz, place VendomeHotel Ritz, ParisHotel Meurice, ParisAimee de Heeren in 1939
Coco Chanel and Aimée de Heeren both lived around the place Vendôme:
Coco Chanel at the Hotel Ritz,
Aimee when in Paris at the Hotel Meurice,
(Aimée de Heeren lived between New York, Palm Beach, Biarritz et Paris ...
she came to Paris for the "saison" when there were a lot of parties and receptions,
usually in June, September, October and November).

Aimée de Heeren enjoyed to walk in the evenings, for hours.
After a ball or a reception
her "haute couture" dress changed to something simple,
et hop !
...there she was for a 2 to 3 hour evening walk.

In the 1960 many people from the American high sociéty
stayed at the Meurice
and there was always someone to come along.
Very faithul in friendship and having a big heart
Aimée knew that Coco Chanel was sometimes a little lonely
so she wanted to integrate her and take her along.

Sometimes well after midnight
(Aimée had a very personal perception of time ... )
a call to the Ritz
(the concierge blocked late calls, but for a few people
there was an exception) :
"Tu ne veux pas m'accompagner pour une promenade ?
Don't you want to come along for a walk ? "

Doris DukeBabe PaleyGrace de Monaco, Grace KellyCecil Blaffer, Titi von FürstenbergAudrey Hetburn
"I just returned to the Meurice,
I'm with
- just some examples,
people were changing every time -
Doris Duke (stayed at the Meurice or in her ou plane)
and/or Peggy Bedford (stayed at the Meurice)
and/or Babe Paley (stayed at the Meurice)
and/or Grace de Monaco (when in Paris lived in the 16th)
and/or Cecile Blaffer (when in Paris lived in Neuilly next to the house of Liliane Bettencourt)
and/or Françoise Cochin de Billy (lived between Paris and Chile)
and/or Audrey Hepburn (stayed at the Ritz and the Hotel Raphael)
and/or Terry Pantz (lived in Paris place des Etats-Unis)
and/or Marie Hélène de Rothschild (lived in Paris at the Hotel Lambert)
and/or Mona Bismarck (also lived at the Hotel Lambert)
and/or the very amusing Karin von Oppenheim (stayed at the Bristol and mostly lived in Cologne)
you must meet her ... she is the most elegant woman in Germany
and/or Wallis Simpson / the Duchess de Windsor (lived in Neuilly)

Johannes Thurn und Taxis
and/or Johannes von Thurn und Taxis
(stayed at the Ritz)
(the editor of this website needs to do more research to remember all the names of
people that accompanied Aimée de Heeren on her evening walks during that time ...)

What he remembers is that all thoses that stayed at the Meurice
tried to have their rooms next to each other, on the same floor,
as it was more fun to be close to each other.
In the 1960s, after every big reception in Paris,
people were giggeling and lauthing at the Meurice ...

It was the hot spot to be.

Aimée de Heeren on the phone with Coco Chanel:
"We are just coming back from a party,
it was a lot of fun,
we are talking about the evening
and we though about making a night walk around Paris ...
The weather is so beautiful tonight ... don't you want to come with us ?
We have been missing you at party ....

Coco Chanel dans les années 1960 devant le Ritz
Sometimes Coco Chanel had already gone to bed,
but this didn't matter,
mostly she went up again,
dressed quickly, some lipstick
and 20 minutes later there she was in the Lobby of the Meurice.
Off they were for a long evening walk around Paris.

Coco Chanel and the Thurn & Taxis

Once in winter 1969 Chanel was depressed and she did not want to come,
Aimée had to ask her young and glamorous friend Johannes von Thurn und Taxis
to help to convince her to come for the walk ...

Albert von Thurn und Taxis avec ses petits fils Johannes et AnselmCoco Chanel et le Duc de Westminster
The 2nd Duke of Westminster (his friends called him Bendor) boyfriend of Coco Chanel
had once very much impressed the Prince Albert I von Thurn & Taxis.
He was at the same time fascinated and horrified.
In the 1930ies he enjoyed telling his young grandchildren
all kind of amusing stories about the "high society".
In the above picture you see him with Anselm (on the right)
and Johannes (the younger one on the left).

There were many many stories
... in particular related to his aunt and the sister of his mothers,
the emperess Sissi of Austria
and his uncle king Louis II of Bavaria (castle Neuschwanstein).

le flying cloud, yacht du Duc de Westminsterperles de Cartier
The young boys loved nothing more than
the stories about Coco Chanel.

Apprently when having arguments with her boyfriend Bendor
she could be very furious.
Bendor loved beautiful woman and was indeed not the most faithful boyfriend one could imagine.
In the middle of some disputes he rushed of to the Cartier Boutique in Monte Carlo
to buy a little "please forgive me" present,
not a perfume (the Cartier perfume line did not exist at that time)
some amazing pearl necklaces or a beautiful diamont broach.
The Cartier parcel was handed over "at home"
Their home on the côte d'Azur was the "Flying Could",
one of the beautiful yachts of all times sailing around the Mediterranian coast.

And what do you think Coco Chanel would do when beeing furious ?
Calm done and melt away after receiving such a spectecular present ?
No, not really ...
Chanel opened the parcel, inspected the jewel 2, 3, 4 times ...
And then just threw it over the bord,
right into the ocean !!!

The boys could not stop laughting about this rather excentric behavior
and as children they were playing
"furious Coco Chanel chasing Bendor through their giant castle in Regensburg" ....


Johannes T&T (on the phone in 1969):
"Dear Mademoiselle,
wouldn't you like to give us the honor to join us for an evening walk.
My grandfather Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis has always been fascinated about You
and when we were children
he told us all these "fairy tale" stories about You.
We loved it when he was talking about Coco Chanel
and your friend the Duke of Westminster.
From Bavaria my grandfather was always following the news about everything
the Duke was doing.

I had hoped so much to meet you at the Bal Oriental
(the Bal Oriental was a legendary party given in the Hôtel Lambert by Alexis de Redé).
Douce François-Freitas told me that you were not so well ...

I know it is a little late now
and we are very impolite to call you up at this time,
but Aimée has given me the permission to call on her behalf."

After that phone call Coco Chanel could no longer resist,
quickly she went up again, some makeup
and there she was ...
like a group of teenagers walking through the night of Paris.

Aimee de Heeren avec Johannes Thurn und Taxis
The stories about Bendor and Coco Chanel
have amused Johannes von Thurn und Taxis so much
that he repeated them 50 years later, in the late 1980ies
to Aimée de Heeren (in the center of the picture)
and to the editor of this website writing this article (on the left of the picture).

Well Aimee de Heeren also had a lot of stories to tell ...
In what concerns the stories about Coco Chanel
she also knew slightly different versions told by "Mademoiselle" in person.

Both of them, Aimée de Heeren
and Johannes Thurn & Taxis,
were at the peak of the 20th century high society.

continue the story ....

Articles connectés:

Coco Chanel in Biarritz
by Palace Hotels of the World
Coco Chanel in the life of the Duke of Westminster by Hotel
history of Chanel by
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Phonebook of the World Message Bird