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CANNES, France — As rumors of a burglarized villa and stolen laptops circulate around the Cannes Film Festival, the legendarily attractive security guards — assigned to protect the millions of dollars worth of borrowed jewels adorning the necks, ears and wrists of the beautiful people — have suddenly found themselves in the limelight.

Though these strong, silent types often manage to elude the camera, high-profile guards like Luc Fournier of De Beers and Luc Charpiot of Chopard can always be spotted on the red carpet, just a few steps behind a high-wattage star, or presiding over the jewels at the boutique. Both refuse to divulge any specific incidents of theft at this year’s festival, but say they aren’t afraid to use their impressive physiques when necessary. Ladies, take note.

This story first appeared in the May 20, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

— Marcy Medina

LUC FOURNIER, De Beers
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 190
Age: 29
Former Job: Cook
Can Also Spot Him At: Cartier, Louis Vuitton
Security Strategy: “Intimidation is the best prevention.”
Workout: “Exercise bike, Greco-Roman wrestling, Thai boxing and one hour in the gym every day.”
Dress Code: “Classic, understated suits. I like ties so I change them often.”
Sorry, Ladies: “I’m married, but don’t have kids yet. There’s not enough time.”
Job Perk: “I give my wife diamonds when I can. I know the difference between D and D flawless.”

LUC CHARPIOT, Chopard
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 145
Age: 42
Day Jobs: Firefighter, bodyguard?
Security Strategy: “Be subtle. Always use discretion.”
Training: Black belt in karate.
Favorite Client: Emannuelle Béart. “But we are only told one hour prior who we will be watching.”?
Dress Code: Tux for premieres, comfortable shoes and shades when it’s sunny. “It’s not a cliche.”
Gems 101: “I know the difference between a ruby, a diamond and an emerald.”
Surgical Skills: Knowing how to undo those tricky clasps. “It’s more important to be able to take it off than put it on.”
Hours: “All day, all night. Staying with actors until 4 a.m. is part of the job.”
Diet: “We live never knowing what or when we are going to eat.”

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