A match between the Showcase and the Baron It is as if you compare an Airbus and a private jet. It does not play in the same category. "Albert Cohen, the man who is in command of the Showcase, there is no photo. And it's true... Difficult, a priori, to confront this atypical space of 2,000 square metres, to the majestic arches of stone, privatized for shows of enterprises, and this former bar to intimate call-girls, darling of the world of art and fashion... First, all objects. But in reality these two Queens of the Parisian night have in common.
Who would have imagined that this boathouse located on the edge of the Seine, close to the Grand Palace, and abandoned for twenty years by the navigable channels of France (VNF) can become one of the more unusual temples of the event Albert Cohen, it was believed. And the producer of audiovisual programmes with musicals ("the King-Sun", "The ten commandments"...) has been his perseverance. "In 1997, on invites me to a photo in an unlikely location, partially sealed, under the bridge Alexandre III exhibition." Intrigued, I return visit, I floundered in 10 metres of mud, "platoon". But I am fascinated! "Albert Cohen think of at the outset to offer"live"music in this industrial building derelict and unsafe. Problem: attached to the area of the city, the location is also protected by the France buildings, because classified... After the election of Bertrand Delanoë Mayor of Paris, the project is subject to tender. Twenty-six candidates say. Albert Cohen takes the last eight years after his first heart. He must still wait ten months and involved work EUR 4 million, to address the problems of humidity, smoke control, electrical power and sanitation: a 12-metre trench is dug under the course Albert-I to connecting to the municipal network! And as the area is flood, everything must be removable...
Musical nurseries and evenings VIP
Nothing like Baron: the new masters of places, Lionel Bensemoun, Partouche family, and an artist of graffiti, André Saraiva "André" to his friends have left the premises "in their own juice": ambience voluntarily recalls "a cabaret of province". Purple velvet photos aged women barren, sofas leather without age and walls... The decoration of this former bar to host confidential avenue Marceau, in the 8th arrondissement, is has not been retouched. Closed for two years, the Baron is reborn from its ashes in 2004 and quickly became "the place to be."
Albert Cohen wishes to Showcase "Golf Drouot in the 2000s". The week, this space out of standards hosts indeed exceptional concerts or private confirmed artists, but especially the birthdays of companies, product launches, fashion shows, gala evenings for 1,000 to 2,000 people, often offering a "live" bonus. Iggy Pop in person is ignited for example 100 candles from Converse. "The place is glamour, guests can arrive by boat, without knowing where it leads," enthuses Albert Cohen. What seduce the luxury sector (Clarins, Cartier, Guerlain, Veuve Clicquot and Nespresso is organized holiday) as the high-tech (Orange, Xbox, SFR...) actors, sensitive to the originality of the place. The weekend, the Showcase becomes a musical nursery: a young and Golden clientele, rather in the 18-25 age bracket, dance under the bridge, to the rhythms of the pop-rock songs played by musicians of the same age. And surprise: around 1: 30 in the morning, the latter just DJ's... Baron! Because if Albert Cohen and Dove Attia partner prides itself to identify the talents (Christophe Maé, Ayo...), they prefer to assign the "clubbing" of the Showcase to these "very well placed to ensure the artistic direction" specialists.
The Baron has indeed earned an outstanding reputation in the nyctalope Paris: the selection at the entrance of this night reserved for 150 happy few maximum box is ruthless. This is what makes it so desirable. "We wanted to make a friendly place for friends, a bar with friends," says Lionel Bensemoun. Björk, Romain Duris, Sofia Coppola, Sophie Calle... Intellos, media of publishing, film, fashion, artistic avant-garde to build business relationships. "Here, everyone has a look a little, not too ostentatious," says Priscilla of Orgeval, editor of mode. The "costards-neckties-maxi 4 4" remain at the door. The Baron even paid the luxury to reject Leonardo DiCaprio, who refused to abandon his bodyguards. On the turntables, DJ rely on an unusual directory, from the years 1930 to 1990. "Of the old tubes at home" in the words of a laugh. Sometimes that Emma de Caunes, Ariel Wizman or Frédéric Beigbeder take joysticks, that discovery concerts were improvised. And, as in the Showcase, the "dance floor" may be privatized. "During the fashion shows, all creators give cocktails and evenings", reflects Priscilla of Orgeval. In the small world of the Parisian night, the avenue Marceau is the flagship of Lionel Bensemoun and André. But its two owners have other irons in the fire. Together, they have indeed created the Clique. A company specializing in entertainment and public relations, the Baron or elsewhere: so, last year dinner giant VIP opening the Fiac took place... in the Showcase. Similarly that Battle iPhone or Nokia's "live".
Books address gold
Albert Cohen and Dove Attia have many friends. And bad languages claim that they have not hesitated to use it to win their renewable 12-year concession with the city of Paris. In his book "The merchant of sand", the journalist Sophie Coignard evokes what "a choice of cronyism": Elie Semoun, a friend of Bertrand Delanoë, would be mounted to the niche market to defend the cause of the Showcase. A thesis rebutted by the patterns of the box. However, the comic is also... associated with the case. But this is not everything. An ex-cadre of the VNF also suggests that Nicolas Sarkozy, then Minister of the Interior, have also supported the record. The head of State seems, it is true, enjoy the scene. During his presidential campaign, candidate Sarkozy presented its programme for the culture and, at the evening of May 6, 2007, the elected President even made stop under the bridge Alexandre III. The political universe, the Showcase is also the home of the agencies of publicity and events, media and record companies, who appreciate the well equipped stage for their artists.
Lionel Bensemoun and André Saraiva benefit to an international network with their memorable holiday. They have also a popular showcase for the artistic circles: the shop of the palais de Tokyo, including André, in having won the tender, has been a true hub for performances, concerts and parades. The two acolytes and orchestrate the evenings of contemporary art, Miami, London, New York fairs. Their "touch French" arty interested Switzerland, Dubai, Venice... "The Baron has reduced distances in exporting to Tokyo or Los Angeles." "We applaud our DJ everywhere in the world," they explain. During the Cannes Film Festival, the Baron is coming for example at the hotel 3.14, property Partouche, and summer in Corsica, with Calvi on the Rocks, gathering of the Tout.
Two expanding universe
Today, these two addresses among the best rated of Monopoly of the night seek to enhance their signature. "The Showcase has become a concept and a mark, because his case is unique." I have the ambition to make a record label. "And our cameras high definition, we can offer our capture of concerts on DVD, Internet, or mobile phone, which will strengthen our reputation in the international", says Albert Cohen. Synergies with the musicals mounted with Dove Attia (soon, a rock opera about Mozart) are obvious, the Showcase is a permanent casting tool.
André, whose graffiti invest a growing number of connected products, a portable Mitsubishi to Wi - Fi Nabaztag rabbits, extends his empire Parisian love hotel, in partnership with Thierry Costes, the fidelity as well as Régine clubs and Moune, with Lionel and a certain Addy Bahktiar, restaurant owner of discos, but also the world is decidedly small partner in the Showcase. "This palette of locations allows us to meet all needs of our international clients", welcomed the Baron patterns, which can provide premium reading and TV via their quarterly "Antijour" and "The night TV" programs, visible on Cape 24 or Orange.