Event producer Axel Huynh is the force behind Crazybaby! Event Planning, Communications, and Celeb PR, who list clients like Evian, Fiat, Citizen K, Pernod and Moët on its resume. Last year, the Paris based company threw the party voted Best of Cannes 2008. BlackBook caught up with the multi-talented party genius as he set up Terrazza Martini—one of the exclusive tents on La Croisette during Cannes.
How did you get your start throwing parties? I realized that I wanted to be part of this industry the day I started modeling. I was 18 and walking the runway at a Jean-Paul Gaultier fashion show. The excitement of the event intrigued me and soon after, I was hosting parties and organizing crazy fashion shows at a Parisian cabaret called Folies Pigalle.
What is the mission of your company, Crazybaby!? The mission of Crazybaby! is to entertain in style. We put our own eclectic spin on new and fresh events to make them stand out as unique. I constantly push creative boundaries and follow up every idea with a question, “Does this make a statement?” and “Will people talk about this after they leave?” Passion is the key word!
Is passion what makes a great party? I think a great party is all about balance between guests. I like to mix the crowd between A-listers and artists, famous and unknown. I love contrasts.
What are your favorite bars and restaurants in Paris and beyond? In Paris, my favorite bar is Mathis Bar because it’s really cozy. Au Pied de Cochon restaurant because you can eat till late in the night. In LA, my favorite spot is the Chateau Marmont. I also love the Raleigh in Miami, especially their poolside brunch.
How was your experience at Cannes last year? Last year I did many parties at a bunch of different locations. From the Evian Royal Spa on a gorgeous yacht in the Bay of Cannes, to a pool party at a villa owned by French designer Pierre Cardin, which was voted the “Best Party of Cannes 2008” by a leading French fashion magazine.
Do you think things will be toned down because of the global economic situation? Last year, there was barely a corner cut. This year, the cutbacks will only serve to make the great ideas shine brighter, which is why we’ve been working every minute for Terrazza Martini. It’s impossible to understand before you see it come together, but during the last few months, I’ve put together an unstoppable team. Every detail of this tent will be perfection, from the design to the guest list.
Who are people in the nightlife industry that inspire you? These individuals are not necessarily from the nightlife industry, but I’m inspired by talented minds and by people who have their own vision. Andre Balazs, because I love the spirit of his hotels; David LaChapelle for his creativity through photos; Federico Fellini for his amazing films; Jean-Paul Gaultier for his originality and inventiveness.
And what’s the least inspiring thing you’ve seen at a party? I attended an event once where a model tripped on a carpet and ended up pulling the step and repeat down with her. What a disaster.
You gotta love a good fashion disaster if only for the catty comments that follow. What’s the bitchiest thing you’ve ever overheard at a party? I once heard a doorman tell a woman leaving a club that she had to get her own cab because he only got cabs for “young, hot guests.” The woman was outraged.
What’s more important when throwing an event: securing an amazing space or finding good liquor sponsors? I don’t think I can choose. A great space with nothing to drink is boring. It’s like champagne without bubbles. It doesn’t make sense.
Who are 5 people you’d like to have on your dream guest list? Andy Warhol, Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, Peggy Moffitt, Barack Obama.
Complete this sentence: The party doesn’t stop until… …the shiny disco ball falls.
What are you up to tonight? I’m finishing up the final details for Terrazza Martini at Cannes. So many ideas, so little time.