Two young girls from Castro, Parana, Brazil
want to discover the World
Aimée and her sister Vera Sotto Maior (1904 - 1986)
were from a poor family in Castro.
Their father Genésio de Sá Sotto Maior
and their mother Julieta Sampaio Quentel were school teachers.
They attached a lot importance to the education of their chidren.
Genésio loved to tell them stories of pioneers and inventors ...
Growing up the girls wanted to discover the World.
They moved to Rio de Janaeiro.
Begining of quite an adventure ...
Meeting Alexander Graham Bell
Just arrived in Rio Aimée meets someone from the Orléans Bragance family,
one of the grandsons of Pedro II of Brazil
who invited her to for a trip to the United States East Coast.
It's the first time she leaves Brazil
and she hardly speaks English.
Arrived in New York Aimées travel compagnon had the idea to continue
the trip to Nova Scotia, Canada
where lived a friend of his grandfather,
an old man who had once made a fabolous invention .... the telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell lived on a beautiful estate, Beinn Bhreagh.
He was surrounded by young people, all inventors.
Bell sponsored their inventions and enjoyed participating in them.
When Aimée arrived Professor Bell and all the young guys were down by the water
with some funny looking elements,
test for future hydroplanes.
Everybody was fascinated by the young woman from Brazil.
Bell gave her an advise
"To stay young you need to have young friends"
Aimée loved to tell the editor of this article
that she had once met a great inventor that had given her this valuable advise.
But impossible to get his name.
Aimée "I'll tell you one day"
His identity would have revealed Aimées greatest secret, her real age.
It is only shortly before she died, august 2006
Aimée released the name
and the editor of this article understood that she was much older
than what he had ever imagined ...
well he was not the only one.
Setteling in Rio de Janeiro
Aimée and her sister Vera settled in Rio
1923 August 13 Aimée and Vera attend the Grand Opening
of the Copacabana Palace Hotel.
1932 June 7 Aimée married M Luís Simões Lopes,
chief of staff of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil.
Inofficial First Lady of Brazil
more coming soon ...
Brazilian Secret Service Agent
more coming soon ...
Chanel meets Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior
1938 Coco Chanel meets Aimee Lopes
World War II is on the way.
Brazil sends a secret agent,
Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior.
Already send to Berlin in 1934
she had to find out more of what was going on in Europe.
Fluent in English, French, Italian with a good level of German
she worked directly for the President of her country,
Getulio Vargas (1882 -1954).
Vargas hesitated whether Brazil should allie with or againts Germany.
He wanted Aimées advise.
Beeing her countries top secret agent
Aimée had "unlimited pocket money"
so she could navigate in the "Hi Society" like an icon.
Aimée arrived in Paris like a bombshell
Coco Chanel wanted to know this captivating woman.
Aimée was so amazingly beautiful people were speachless.
Bettina Ballard, editor in chief of Vogue and friend of Coco Chanel:
"I particularly remember the season
when Aimee was lionized in Paris.
She was so pretty,
so genuinely nice,
carried gaiety with her like a fan,
and she was almost eaten alive.
Hung with diamonds,
she was pushed from fittings to balls,
never allowed a moment for private conquest
because every hostess needed her
for her party
to prove that she could draw the lioness of the season.
Aimee just wanted to dance and flirt and have fun.
That wasn't what Paris expected of her."
Bettina Ballard in her memoires,
Video in French talking about the Memoires
of Bettina Ballard
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