Aimee de Heeren by VB.com - walking through an entire century

Aimee de Heeren (1903 - 2006)


Aimée de Heeren (1903 - 2006)
Aimée Sotto Maior / Aimée Simoes Lopes /
Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior / Aimée "Kennedy"

helped to reopen Cremerie de Paris

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Aimée de Heeren (1903 - 2006)
sister of Vera Sotto Maior / Vera Plunkett / Vera Prettyman
friend of Alexander Graham Bell (1847 -1922), Thomas Edison (1847 - 1931),
Casey Baldwin (1882 - 1948), Bendor / 2nd Duke of Westminster (1879 - 1953)
Dmitri Romanov, (1891 - 1942) Coco Chanel (1883 - 1971)
secret service agent for Getulio Vargas (1882 - 1954)
wife of Luis Simoes Lopes (1903 - 1994),
friend of Patrick J Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), wife of Rodman de Heeren (1910 - 1983)
friend of Johannes Thurn & Taxis (1926 - 1990)
friend of young Ben Solms, VB.com
grandmother of glamorous Victoria Noble Lee

Brazilian Secret Service agent
fashion icon, member of the Best Dressed List
key figure in the long history of VB.com / Cremerie de Paris
visitor of Cremerie de Paris 1938, 1939, 1960-1970, 1992 - 2005
helped with a little jewel left to her by Coco Chanel to acquire Cremerie de Paris N°1
internet student at Cybercafe de Paris (Cremerie de Paris)


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 two daughters.
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
the inventor of the phone

Just arrived in Rio Aimée meets someone from the Orléans Braganca family,
one of the grandsons of Pedro II of Brazil.
He invited her to for a trip to the Eats Coast of the United States.
It's the first time Aimée Sotto Maior get out of 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.

Aimee Soto MaiorAlexander Graham Bell, Aimee Soto Maior
Alexander Graham Bells homa was a beautiful estate, Beinn Bhreagh.
He was surrounded byhis wife, many animals and young people, all inventors:
among them Casey Baldwin, John Mc Curdy, Thomas Selfridge.
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,
testing for future hydroplanes.

Everybody was captivated by the exotic looking 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,
Aimée released the name, august 2006,
Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
Suddenly the editor of this article understood
that Aimée was much 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.


GE logo 1900GE logo 2004
The editor of this article does not know much of the following decade,
exept that Aimée studied languages
and that she had the chance to meet Thomas Edison
who left her a little broach with two flowers.
The two flower looked like light bulps and could be detached
as earrings, a jewel Edison had brought from Paris.
One flower represented Aimée, the other one Edison.

Edison once said that the famous General Electric logo,
representing an electric fan reminded him of Aimée,
because when ever he saw her
her could feel electricity everywhere ...
well he was not the only one



Around the President of Brazil
1932 June 7 Aimée married M Luís Simões Lopes,
chief of staff of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil.



Aimee and Getulio Vargas
Aimee with President Vargas , his daughter Alzira Vargas
and Benedito Valadares, picture 1938 march 26 by fundation Getulio Vargas

Aimee and Getulio Vargas
Aimee with President Vargas on a lake



According to the legend
President Vargas was fasinated by Aimée.
Some people wonder if she is the "bem amada" described in his diary
that remained secret until 2004,
50 years after his death.



Secret Service Agent in Paris

World War II was on it's way ...
Germany tried to get Brazil as an ally
with Italy and Japan.


Getulio Vargas was tempted as he admired the German sens of order.
Also Germany was an important trade partner
and one of the countries main clients, if
not the main one`
for coffee, cacao and cotton.
Before taking a final decision he wanted the advise of Aimée Lopes Sotto Maior
that he had already been send to Berlin back in september 1934
to check out the new German regime ...

1938 her mission was to settle in Paris
and to get as much information as she could possibly find.
Living between the Hotel Plaza Athenee and the Hotel Meurice
she was helped by an unmilited "credit card"
so that she could navigate in the hi sociéty.

Fluent in English, French, Italian with a good level of German
she had to meet important people Paris society,
and people from government circles in France, German, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Dissimulated as a "wealthy fashionista" onlt interested infashion and parties
nobody Aimée was a secret service agent.

Helmuth James von Moltke
Meeting Helmuth James von Moltke (1907 - 1945) gave Aimee secret information
about Germany's plans with the Jews. Horrified Aimée used all her influence
on President Vargas to keep Brazil away from a possible alliance with the Axis powers.
Von Moltke who was part of the German establishment
was also a lawer helping jewish business people to leave Germany.
One of them was Berthold Kempinski, founder of the Hotel chain with the same name.


The editor of this article can not remember if Aimée
met Helmuth James von Motke in Paris or in London,
but maybe over time more will come out
on Aimée's connection with von Moltke.





Chanel meets Aimée Lopes de Soto Maior

1938 Coco Chanel meets Aimee Lopes

Aimée had arrived in Paris like a bombshell.
Le Tout Paris (Paris Hi Society) is impressed
by this unusually beauty from Brazil
Aimée lived between the Hotel Plaza Athénée and the Hotel Meurice.

She keeps the image of a true fashionista
and a party girl
so nobody realised her real activity
was to be a Secret Service Agent searching of information for Brazil.

Who is that girl ?
So beautiful ...
no husband ...
and so much money ?





Coco Chanel wanted to know the captivating woman.

Bettina Ballard and Coco Chanel
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,
Vogue editor.







Video in French talking about the Memoires
of Bettina Ballard



Coco Chanel and Aimée become friends.

Aimée did not share Chanel's opinions
but she needed her to meet all kind of people
without Chanel ever imagining
that Aimee was a secret service agent.

Aimée accompanied Chanel to many receptions
like two of the legendary Circus Ball Parties in Versailles given by Elsie de Wolfe.

Aimee Sotto Maior
During the 1939 Ball Aimée was wearing a dress
made by the still unknown Christian Dior.

As Aimée was in the center of the public eye
everybody noticed the dress,
including Marcel Bussac who was presented to Aimée by Chanel
and who later financed
the launch of the house of Dior.
The evening might have been the very first time a Dior dress
has been noticed by the public.

Behind Aimee the columnist Elsa Maxwell.
Picture by the fashion photographer Roger Schall.
Clicking on the picture connects you to a NY fashion museum with more info.
If only someone could invent a phone allowing to call someone in the skies
Elsa Maxwell would know a lot to add to this article.



Above Book on Elsie de Wolfe includes many
pictures of Aimée and Coco Chanel.
Fabolous research has been made NY the author Charlie Scheibs.
The editor of this article has learned a lot
on young Aimée three decades before he was born.


Discovering Cremerie de Paris
with Coco Chanel

Chanel also shows her the Cremerie de Paris she knew from Dmitri Romanov.


Louix XIV, third Bourbon King of France
gate of the Cremerie de Paris / Hotel de Villeroy
Cremerie de Paris is part of a century old mansion
where the young Bourbon King Louis XIV had lived a long time ago.
It was the house of the children François and Catherine de Villeroy,
their father was the tutor of the young boy, later called Sunking.



Coco Chanel and Dmitri RomanovQueen Victoria by WinterhalterEmpress Eugenie and Alix Hessen
Coco Chanel knew the stories about the Cremerie from Dmitri Romanov
who had helped her to invent Chanel N°5.
Cremerie de Paris was part of fairytales,
the last Tsarina, Alix Hessen / Alexandra Feodorovna told her children in St Petersburg.



Pavillons Baltardthe original rue des Halles
The stories came from the old Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoléon III
who was the creative mind behind the famous Paris Halles Centrales foodmarket,
where the Cremeries are located.


Coco Chanel, Dmitri Romanov
Dmitri Romanov also met Aimée.
Concerning his former boyfriend Felix Yusopov,
a "faux pas" happened at a cocktail.

When meeting Yusupov, Aimée mixed up his name.
Yusopov was known for having been involved in the assasination of Rasputin
who was partly responsible of the outbreak of the Russian Revoluton
and the end of the Romanov reign in Russia.

Instead of calling him by his right name
Aimée made a confusion
and called hime "Prince Rasputin"
Yusopov was furious and hated her for the rest of his life.



Bendor, the 2nd Duke of Westminster
and the French Crown Jewels



Duke of Westminster
At the time Coco Chanel had a fancy boyfriend,
the 2nd Duke of Westminster who was England's richest man.
Hugh Grosvernor, also called Bendor
had inherited in 1899 a "modest" real estate fortune from his grandfather
when he was 20 years old.

The fortune was not a couple of appartments
neither a couple or buildings,
not even entire streets
but the districts Mayfare and Belgravia
in central London.

Bendor was not an entrepreneur looking for business ventures.
No projects to finance projects like the Suez Channel.
All he lwanted to do was to receive his rent payments,
enjoy life and chase beautiful woman.

Whenever he saw a girl he liked in a restaurant
he tried to find out her adress
so he could send her a flower bouquet
with little jewels hidden inside.


And
"drama after drama"
not only Coco Chanel
but also the Duke of Westminster were fascinated by Aimée ...

Bendor did not interest Aimée,
he was much too old for her
and she didn't agree with many of his opinions
which resulted in the fact
that Bendors presents became bigger and bigger.

While Chanel was given pearls from the Cartier Boutiques in Monaco, Paris or London
Aimée was get something more extravagant,
jewels that had once belonged to the Kings of France.

French Crown Jewels
From 1939 to 1953
specially hired jewlery detectives had to search
les "Bijoux de la Couronne de France",
mainly the former collection of Empress Eugenie
that had been sold at several occasions.

It became Bendors passion to hunt the jewels,
many circulating in England at the time.
Bendor went through the lists of all auctions
and the new owners of the jewels were contacted to sell them.
Once aquired Bendor send them to Aimée
as a token of his love and affection.

Gabrielle Chanel wasn't aware of all of the presents
but what she found out was enough
to make her so jealous her friendship with Aimee broke.


Biarritz
Aimee kept every single French Crown jewel like a treasure.
The jewels were hidden in Biarritz
where she lived in august and sometimes at christmas.
The one or the other jewel was allowed to travel with her for parties.

Half a century later the editor of this article made a "faux pas".
Arriving with Aimée in Venice, using a public "vaporetto" (water bus) with lots of suitcases
he asked her if the mallet for jewels was there ...
Once arrived Aimée furiously reminded him never again to use the word "jewel"
only the secret code
"les bebes" (French for the babies)

Another funny scene happened in New York, 1996.
The editoe of this article was allowed Aimée to a cocktail.
Aimée was ultra glamorous like always
Her look, the jewels, plus maybe the age of her company
two generations younger than 99% of the guests
captivated everybodys eyes ...

Eleanor Lambert, an old Lady talked to him.
the conversation turned to Aimées jewels.
Hearing that the broches once belonged to the French Empress Eugenie
and they were mixed with some stuff he had bought for Aimée on the beach
amused Mrs Lambert ....
The editor didn't know the old Lady was the ultimate NY fashionista
who changed the plans for her next "Best Dressed Hall of Fame List"
replacing a young Hollywood actress
by Aimée


There are so many crazy and funny stories
about travelling with Aimée and her jewels a book could be written ...

Villa La Roseraie
Concerning the crown jewels received from Bendor
Aimée thought that it was a little crazy
she had so many of them.

Johannes Thurn & Taxis had given Aimée the idea
to create a surprise
leaving after her death a museum with the Crown Jewels.

Aimée didn't want the jewels to leave France
or to go to the Louvre
thinking it was nicer to have them in
her and Eugenies beloved small city of Biarritz
at her Villa La Roseraie.

Aimée wanted younger generations to be educated about glamour and style
and leave them a souvenir
of Empress Eugenie and herself.






Meeting a young student
Aimée "Kennedy"


Joseph Patrick KennedyJoseph Patrick Kennedy
1938 Aimée was frequently in London.
At the time Patrick Joseph Kennedy Sr was there as the American Ambassador.
At a reception she meets the young Kennedy sons, Patrick Joseph Kennedy Jr and JFK.
The young boys ignored that she was quite a bit older than them.

In the following summer they meet again on the côte d'Azur.
The entire Kennedy family was staying in Antibes at the Hotel du Cap
and Aimée and Patrick Joseph Jr arrange themselves
to meet incognito.








Leaving Paris, escaping to New York


With all information tranmitted to President Vargas
Paris was becoming to dangerous for Aimée,
Secret service agents were everythere also in Rio
and someone could become aware of Aimées efforts
to distanve Vargas from Germany.

1939 end of the year
Aimée took the next ship
from Le Havre to New York.

A friend of Françoise Cochin de Billy helped her to dissapear
(forgot the name)
Aimee left Paris without informing anybody,
neither Coco Chanel nor her Hotel, The Meurice.
Officially Aimée was spending a few days in the country
... only returning to Paris years later .


Anti Hitler activist in New York
Arriving in New York
Aimee and her sister Vera took a flat in Manhattan, Park Avenue.

Joseph Kennedy was in New York when Aimée arrived.

Joseph Kennedy and Aimée
already had plans for the White House
and Rose Kennedy, the mother
thought that Aimée would be a great asset for her son.

It's only that nobody knew that Aimée was much older than expected.
Well her age was her ultimate secret.
The editor of this article did not know for 20 years,
until she told him 2006, a few days before leaving this world.



Aimée continued working as a secret agent for Vargas
now getting him information from the US
She did everything she could to keep Brazil away from Germany.
Brazil's unlimited credit cards were of help to accomplish the mission.

Aimée used all her know-how
to meet influential Americans
and to push them to take action against the Nazis.

An old friend she had met a long time ago visiting Alexander Graham Bell
was of great help when she settled,
Casey Baldwin, in the meantime director of the Graham Bell Laboratries.


Back in 1936 she had met President Roosevelt in Brazil
but it was difficult to rapproach him.

Even after 1939 september 1 invasion of Poland
and the outbreak of World War 2 (Aimee was still in Paris)
Roosevelt wanted to keep the United States out of war.
War in Europe divided the American opinion into two camps:
non-interventionists and interventionists.


1940 Aimee took part of a Charity movement
called Les Culis de Trianon Versailles
organising fashion expos
to collect money for French soldiers
part of the movement were also the socialites Lady Mendl
(thay gave the Versailles circus ball parties in 1938, 1939)
Mrs. Harrison Williams and Mrs. Ector Munn.

An expo was organised at the Wanamaker Department store in New York.


cover of Time
1941 "Time" electes Aimée
among the "Ten best dressed Woman in the World"
Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor was N°1
Mrs Stanley Mortimer Jr (Barbara Cushing later Babe Paley) N°2Aimée N°3
Mrs Harrison Williams, later Countess Mona von Bismarck N°4

Mrs Byron Foy N° 5
Senora Felipe A Espil N°6
Mrs Robert W Miller N°7
Mrs Robert Emmet Sherwood N°8
Rosalind Russel N°9
Lily Pons N° 10

Elanor Roosevelt, at the time first Lady of the USA
did not have enough votes from the 50 style authorities to get into the List.





1940 Nov 5 Roosevelt reelected President of the United States for the 3rd time
promising his voters not to involve in foreign wars if he were re-elected.

1941 Jospeh P Kennedy became part of the US Navy.
1941 dec 11 President Roosevelt signs the American declaration of war against Germany.
1942 august 22 President Vargas signs the Brazilian declaration of war against Germany.
1943 Kennedy returned to Britain to work on anti German submarine missions.
1944 August 12 he died on mission Aphrodite planning to attack
some German U Boat pens in the north sea.

The friendship with the Kennedy family lasted for a lifetime.


Aimée de Heeren, Ted Kennedy

Half a century later, 2002 november 18
the editor of this article
had the chance to meet Ted Kennedy / Senator Edward Kennedy,
the young brother of Joseph P Kennedy Jr.

It was at a reception
at the musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris
where Aimée was invited.
The reception was given by L'Oréal
showing the Dresses Jacks Kennedy
was wearing during her White House years.

We were asked to come to a seperate room where
Liliane Bettencourt was waiting to meet the Kennedy family.
Caroline and her husband Schlossberg were already there.

Suddenly Ted entered the door accompanied by his daughter.
He was so exited to see Aimée
he completely forgot to greet his host ...
Instead Amée and himself started to sing a song
they used to sing in Palm Beach half a century before.


Everybody was a little surprised and Ted explained to his daughter,
his niece Caroline and to the editor of VB,
that all the Kennedy boys had been
completely crazy about Aimée ...

Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr
John F Kennedy
Robert Kennedy
and of course himself


Joseph Patrick Kennedy
A little snapshot is left from that scene,
but maybe one day
the editor of this article
will also find a picture of young Aimée
with Patrick Jospeh Jr.

Such pictures must exist somewhere,
but as many pictures
they might years to be found somewhere ...







Marrying again

Aimee and Rodman de Heeren
Aimee married Rodman de Heeren,
son of Fernanda Wanamaker, grandson of John Wanamaker.
The picture was taken in Palm Beach in 1970.




After the war
Returning to Paris
Renewing friendship with Coco Chanel

1939 / 1940 the friendship with Chanel
had come to an end due to Chanel's
jealousy over
Bendor's overwhelming presents.

Also Aimée had escaped from Paris without letting Chanel know.

After the war Chanel was "persona ingrata" in France
and left for Lausanne, Switzerland.

When Aimée returned to France
Gabrielle wasn't there any more.



1953 july 19 something sad happened in the middle of the summer
Bendor, at the origin of the fabolous presents
and Chanel's former boyfriend died.
Aimée had met him shortly before 1953 june 2
during the coronation ceremony for Queen Elisabeth II.
During the ceremony he gave her

1954 Coco Chanel returns to Paris.
Both Ladies missed Bendor,
there was nobody left to give such extraordinary presents ...
One day they run into each other ...
and they are more than glad
to have someone to share souvenirs of their old friend.

1960 Chanel is getting older ...
she is lonely,
she lives at the Ritz
sometimes she can't sleep at night ...

Aimée spends about 4 onths of the year in Paris.
Her Parisian home is the nearby Hotel Meurice.
Partygirl Aimée loves to go out, to dance, have fun
and when she returns from a grand style party
she has so much enery she is not yet ready to go to sleep

The two Ladys have an original idea to meet for
"Night Walks through Paris"

Even though Chanel doesn't go out any more
she loves to hear all the gossip
about everything that has happened at Aimées parties ...

The destination of their nightwalks is always the same ...
Cremerie de Paris and the N°5 forged into it's magigal courtyard.

Walking down rue Saint Honoré,
they have a drink at the Maison Rouge (now Cremerie N°7)
before trying to enter the VB mansion
where they rest a moment on the N°5 staircase
sharing good old souvenirs about the past
and all the fun they had with firends like Bendor or Dmitri Romanov.

The promenade retuns along the Rue de Rivoli.

Salvadore Dali, also staying at the Meurice
had notices the Ladies several times,
but Aimée thought he was too excentric
so he was not allowed to join them.

Many years later Aimée repeated the same walks
with a young student,
connectiong him with stories of the past
as if the barriers of time would not exist.



Getting a double digit Phone Code
for Brasil +55

Whenever you call someone in Brazill
your number starts with a magical +55
Did you know that Aimée
is behind this "magic number"
an idea she had with Coco Chanel back in the early 1960s

There are only 244 countries
but only 4 have a double digit phone code
France +33
UK +44
Thailand +66
and Brazil +55

Phonecodes were attributed by the International Telecom Union
in Geneva in the early 1960ies
+5x or +5xx were the phone codes for South America

Aimée influenced by her friend Chanel
wanted the double 5 for Brazil ...

story is coming soon
and will be published in the Phone Book of the World ...


Bye Bye Coco Chanel

a little jewel left by Coco Chanel
Chanel leaves a little Jewel to Aimée
more coming soon







Guest of famous Parties



more coming soon



Meeting a young student

Well it is not every day
a young student has the chance
to run into one of the World's ultimate secret service agents.

Aimee de Heeren, Ben Solms
And like everybody else he had no idea about her real age ...
They met thanks to Johannes Thurn und Taxis
at his 60th brithday party in Regensburg Bavaria.
Aimée and Johannes had been close friends since a long time.



During the party
Aimée and the editor of this article
attracted the attention of the Vanity Fair journalist Bob Colacello
who mentioned them in the book above,
article "Let them eat Lobster" .

In what follows there is too much to tell
ito squeeze into an article


For the moment
let's just talk about the "night walks through Paris"

Even though quite some time had gone by
since Chanel left this World 1971
Aimée was still of endless energy
and of course she loved to walk through Paris
in the Middle of the night.

It's only that she needed a new company.
Why not to ask the young student ...


The nightwalks started at the Hotel Meurice
and they went in the direction of Chatelet les Halles
where was located the legendary Cremerie de Paris
the place described in Russian fairytales
by the student's great uncle and his great aunt
who were once part of the inner circle of the Romanov children.

The student had opened a Sony Phone Boutique near Cremerie de Paris N°1.

When Aimée showed him the legendary Cremerie de Paris courtyard
for the first time
she was all surprised the student already knew about it.

Romanov children
The picture shows the Romanov children in 1910
on the upper left side their mother Alix Hessen / the last Tsarina
and their aunt Eleonore Solms / Eleonore Hessen.
In the small cercles the other children,
among them Dmitri Romanov,
Carl and Friederike Solms.
Carl returns in 1970 with the editor of this article, a small child
Coco Chanel is there in 1920 with Dmitri Romanov and again in 1938 with Aimée Sotto Maior,
Aimée Sotto Maior in 1938, and again with the editor of this article in 2003 (see red arrows)

Both
the editor of this article and Aimée
knew the legends about the Cremerie de Paris,

- one by the last survivors of the Romanov children
his great uncle Carl and his great aunt Friederike,

- the other by Gabrielle Chanel and Dmitri Romanov.

The stories had the same source,
Alix Hessen / the Tsarina
that had told them to children in the years 1910.
Alix knew the from Empress Eugénie.



1992 Cremerie de Paris N°1 (closed for many many years
and covered by wood barricades)
was for rent.


The editor's small Sony Phone Store (today N°2)
worked really well
and Aimée encouraged him to get Cremerie N°1

But the owner of the space was scared
to rent such a big location
to someone so young without any financial background.

The project did not work out ...



The little jewel from Coco Chanel
helps with Cremerie de Paris

1993 Paris
Cremerie de Paris N°1 returns on the market the following year.
The furniture store of a well established firm did not work,
also the Kuwait Golf war resulted in a recession
but the owner of the store
is still scared to rent it to someone so young.

Aimée:
"you should ask the owner to sell you the place.
Selling it he has no risk with tent payments, try it ... "


The owner is not against the idea
but how to find financing in a country like France
that is quite difficult with young people,
special when they come from abroad.

Mission impossible,
not enough financial background.
Unfortunately nothing was left from the Romanov fortunes.

Exept some magic.

a little jewel left by Coco Chanel
The magic was called
Aimée Sotto Major
and Coco Chanel.


Aimée: "You know if it is impossible to get a bank loan in France
you need to try in another country,
Germany or the United States.
Their banks have a mentality that is more open."

Aimee was right
After a couple of phone calles
Deutsche Bank was there, ready to finance the aquisition,
What was needed was a down payment a little more important
than for someone with a good financial background.

A new problem ...
Thanks to the Sony phones there was some money
but not enough for the full down payment.
Aimée was satisfied all her suggestions had been followed.
Suddenly she decided to do something she never did
selling one of her magic jewels,
the beautiful Russian broach Coco Chanel had left her.

Aimée had the feeling
Gabriele had whispered to her in last night's dream
"you need to continue the story".


A few days later, 1993 june,
the Deutsche Bank loan was ready ...



Meeting the man from the Moon
Buzz AldrinBuzz Aldrin
coming soon



Internet Lessons
at Cybercafe de Paris
(Cremerie de Paris N°1)
resulting in Phone Books and Whitepages
for many countries

Aimee de Heeren and Ben Solms during an Internet LessonAimee de Heeren Cybercafe de Paris
Aimée was curious to know about internet.
As her young friend had opened an Internet Cafe
she was exposed to a lot of conversations concerning the web.
As a result she wanted to learn about it.
She loved to come to the cafe for web lessons.

Also it amused her that people that were much younger than herself
and that fellt "too old" for the internet
were astonished she was using this new technology.



Whitepages.fr
2004 During one of the lessons the editor of this website showed Aimée
an early version of the French Whitepages.
The French Phonecompany had forgotten to register the expression
of their national phone directory in English.
May 11 registration of French domains had been liberalised
and the editor of this article had the chancve to get it.

Aimée: "And what about Brazil
Don't you think English speaking people
need to find
phone numbers in my country?
"

Whitepages.com.br
The Domain Whitepages.com.br
wasn't registered either,
but at the time to be able to register a domain
for Brazil you needed a Brazilian Adress.
Everything was very complicated.

Aimée insisted we needed Whitepages for Brazil
she even wanted to pay half of the registration charges,
Aimée: "If you need to go to Brazil,
just jump on the next plane and I'll pay half of the ticket.
Back in 1964 when I helped my country
to get the catchy double digit +55 country code,
things were not that easy either.
"

2005 september 26
Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil
granted the domain name
you can now use to find people in Brazil.

All what was needed were a couple of dollars
and some "Aimée Soto Maior know-how".
Thanks to her inspiration
Whitepages are now alive in over 50 countries.


Bye Bye Aimée
2006 june
for 20 years the month of june had someting wonderful
Aimée was finally returning to Paris

from her winter season in the United States,
Palm Beau and New York.


The editor of thie article had the priviledge
to come pick her up every year
at the Charles de Gaulle airport ...

June was party time in Paris.
While driving from the airport to rue de Varenne
projects of uncountable invitations
he would soon be allowed to accompany her
before her invitation
to wonderful summer vacation in Biarritz
starting at the end of July.

But this year no call to come pick her up,
weeks go by
End of July Da ia Flores and Aparicida call
"Madame de Heeren cannot come to Paris,
she wants to know if you can come to New York
to be with her for her birthday."


2006 august 2 the Air France flight from Paris CDG to NY JFK

was overbooked, no way to get on the plane
A happy circumstance in some way as the flight cost are recredited
on an empty credit card.

2006 august 3 arriving in JFK,
but Aimée is not at her home 17 East 90th Street
transfered to the Lenox Hill Hospital.
Arriving just in time for her birthday.




Aimée de Heeren, Ben SolmsAimée de Heeren, Ben Solms

Visiting Aimee every day in the hospital
where Aparicida and Dania Flores also keep company.

Aimée: "Thank you for coming from Paris to visit me.
I'm so glad you made the effort.
I think time has come to tell you about the inventor
we liked to talk about so many times.
The man that lived by the sea with lots of young people trying to make inventions.
I never wanted to give you his name,
because you would have realised
that I'm much older than you imagined.

It was Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the phone.
Besides my sister Vera nobody knew we were friends
when I was about 20
because people would have known my real age.

The Kennedys always thought
I was younger than
Joseph Jr and JFK,
in reality I was older which would have been inacceptable for the family.

I loved follow your Phone Book of the World and your Whitepages
because Bell would have been amused to see the young Aimée
that hardly spoke English at the time
participate in a project his invention had started."


The editor of this article:
"The invention of the phone was a long time ago,
last year we were still travelling to Serbia,
swimming in the Atlantic
you cannot be that old.
When we met I though you were around 50."


Aimée "When we met 20 years ago
I was already over 80
but knowing my real age
would have been a barrier for You to our friendship,
so I prefered to keep the secret."



Aimée was 56 years younger than Alexander Bell and Thomas Eidson,
21 years younger than Getulio Vargas, 20 years younger than Coco Chanel.

12 years older than Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr, 14 years older than JFK
and 63 years older
than we editor of this article.

She died in New York 2006 september 13
at age 103.



Video about the history of Cremerie de Paris
at minute 9 talking about Aimée de Heeren ...





Some of Aimée's crazy & funny stories
in between the lines
of Grand Hotels of the World.com




Grand Hotels of the World.com

The N°5 logo of the Grand Hotels of the World
comes from the staircase of the Cremerie de Paris
where Aimée and Coco Chanel used to go on their nightwalks through Paris


Hotel Vier JahreszeitenClaridgesHotel du Cap AntibesHotel Cartlon Cannes
Grand Hotel du CapHotel Cirpiani, VeniceHotel Vier Jahreszeiten, HamburgCopacabana Palace, Rio
Hotel Meurice, Paris
Hotel Le Bristol, ParisHotel Ritz, ParisHotel Plaza Athenee, Paris


Aimées Legacy


Times after Aimées death were sad,
When you have spend 20 years around someone magical
you miss her ...

Nothing of what Aimée had wanted became reality.
None of her friends received les "petits souvenirs" she had planned.
None of her old friends in poor financial condition got the help she wanted for their last years.
Lydia her beloved maid did not get the golden retirement Aimée had imagined.
Her magnificant houses in New York and Palm Beach were sold.

The Eugenie & Aimée Museum for the French Crown Jewels in Biarritz never came alive.



Only the "litte jewel from Coco Chanel"
helping for a Cremerie de Paris real estate loan
13 years earlier
was still there ...


2005 - 2010
The Cybercafe was closed,
Cremerie de Paris beeing in a mess
rented out to a difficult to handle corporation.


Inquiring about Aimées past

Aimee lived so much in the present and the future
she did not much talk about the past.
Onlt occasionally mentioning pepole here and there.

The editor of this article started to buy books about Coco Chanel,
and suddenly he realised that many of the people mentioned
were also the people Aimée had talked about,
many of them he had even met without realising it.

He studies more about WW2 and resistant fighters against the German regime.
Clarita Tiefenbacher, a cousin of his grandmother,
told him about her husband's friend Helmuth James von Moltke
beeing in contact with Aimée.

He studies the life of President Vargas
and how he suddenly changed his mind
becoming an ally of the United States.
The Kennedys, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell.


A little unusual to discover the live of a friend
who has your age ...
exept that your friend has already left this world
and that all you discover
took place over half a century ago ...




From time to time
Lois Aldrin who was both,
a friend of him and a friend of Aimée,
called to cher him up.

"You don't realise what you have,
A little jewel from Coco Chanel
given by a Secret Service Agent.

After his trip to the Moon with Neil Armstrong
my husband Buzz
has met many many people
but nobody like Aimée.

You need to do someting with her little jewel
that helped you to get the Cremerie de Paris !

You don't even imagine it's value,
something with so much history is something impossible to buy
it's priceless
because it has some magic
and unlike anybody else, without realising it, you have been part of a history book,
a book that has walked through the entire century."




Reopening of Cremerie de Paris
Aimée
and Coco Chanels little jewel
getting back in action


2011 was decided to reopen the Cremerie de Paris
and to turn it into an Expo Hotspot
showing the coolest products and inventions
in an environment full of history
right in the heart of Paris. .




The start was quite difficult as there was absolutely no money
but it did not take very long Nike called
to open a spectacular Barbeshop Pop Up Store
which thurned into a global ad event.
Immediately other famous brands wanted to come.


Aimée de Heeren, Ben Solms
Exterior circumstances were not easy
as a major construction hub just started a few months later
planned for 3 years
construction were finally lasting 6
followed by 2 years of major strikes in France.

Not really the best environment for expos.
people thought that
exposed to such difficulties
the project would never survive.

Final Fantasy Pop Up StoreSodexo Pop Up Restaurant

Whever a brand came to visit
Aimée's magic helped ...
Brands were astonished by the massive amount of history linked to us.

The inventor of the Pokemon was captivated Coco Chanel and ourselves
had
a friend in common
The Pokemon music beeing based on Chanel's friend Igor Stravinsky.
He didn't care about all the dust of the construction.
The expo had a 1 km waiting line, never before as many people waited to enter a shop in our area."


Technology brands were fascinated we had a friend in common
with Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison,
the phone / light bulp were invented over a century ago ..."



The magic of Aimée
and her little jewel
attracted the most iconic Brands
Amazon, Microsoft, Nike, Siemens, Starbucks, Coca Cola, Alibaba
They imagined one spectacular expo after the over
turning our Cremerie de Paris
into a Meeting Place of the World's most famous Brands



a little jewel left by Coco Chanela little jewel left by Coco Chanel
With the little jewel from the Romanovs and from Coco Chanel
Aimées magic keeps going ...

It's not every day a young student
has the chance to run into a Secret Service agent
that was walked through an entire century ...



PS in case you should have met Aimée yourself
and you should have some pictures
please mail them so we can add them into this article
b "at" vb.com



connected articles:
same article in French on Cremeriedeparis.com/aimeedeheeren
Cremerie de Paris on Instagram

Cremerie de Paris ... a fashion hotspot (in French)

Aimée by Michelle Kaufmann / Iara Revista de Moda Cultura e Arte Sao Paulo (in Portugese)
Getúlio, uma biografia, por Lira Neto
Amada dentro e fora do País

Elegance in the Age of Crisis by Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)
Eleanor Lambert, inventor of the best Dressed List by Vanity Fair
100th birthday of the Années Folles in Biarritz Fashion by Baskulture (in French)

History of the Phone Book of the World
Histoire de l"Annuaire du Monde (in French)
Thurn - Taxis.com ... Aimée in the history of the family that invented Postal Services

One of Aimées jewels from Empress Eugénie by Royal Magazine
A necklace by Property of a Lady from Capucine Junker