After nearly two years of build-up and delays, friends of 41-year-old Frenchman André Saraiva received an email alerting them that after a battle with the New York City government, Le Baron was in fact up and running. The huddled masses outside the club who hoped of getting past the costumed bouncer proved Saraiva and his partners, such as Timothee Verrecchia, were very selective with those invitations. “My door policy is no policy. I just want it to feel like friends and family,” Saraiva says.
Opening night included Scarlett Johansson and Victoria’s Secret model Lily Donaldson, while LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy helped increase the median age in the room along a gold staircase from the main floor to the third. Alexander Wang and the MisShapes appeared to be so at home within the walls, they looked as if club designer, Vincent Darré, physically carved them into the framework of the banquettes.
Those who have waited—and have been granted access into Le Baron’s newest lair—have been rewarded. “The waiting increased the pleasure,” Saraiva observes. Within only a few weeks of opening, the parties began trickling in. There was the U.S. Sandro boutique after party hosted by Dree Hemingway; Tara Subkoff‘s celebration for Imitation; a Colette fête during Fashion Week, with stylist Andrew Richardson; and a concert series that kicked off with HeartsRevolution where Stephen Dorff roamed around upstairs while electro-inspired groupies felt the sweat of an almost too close stage next to walls with red hedonistic wallpaper. Then there was a dinner for Saraiva’s girlfriend Annabelle Dexter-Jones’ line for French label Faith Connexion which brought in sisters Charlotte and Samantha Ronson, Saraiva’s BFF Olivier Zahm, Terry Richardson and Tom Sachs. It was the holy grail of Le Baron invites—a true family affair.
With the original club in Paris, there are also outposts to be found in Tokyo and London. It’s fast becoming a Le Baron world. “Le Baron in New York is a different city, different address, different security, different barmaids…” Saraiva clarifies. But not necessarily different people. Like a tidal wave, the types who travel in and out of Saraiva’s world are a never-ending stream of the chicest jet-setters.