Our Story


Company founded

Captivated by his experience in Africa, imbued with the cultures and know-how he discovered during his stay, René Albanu returns to Paris with a deep conviction: to share these riches with the rest of the world. His Maasai bracelet, witness of his journey and his immersion in a vibrant culture, does not leave him, a constant reminder of this adventure that marked his spirit.

Back in the French capital, René Albanu decided to concretize his desire to share and celebrate cultural diversity. He thus created his own company, which he simply named “Albanu”. This company, much more than just a commercial entity, embodies its vision of a world where differences are celebrated and highlighted. Through Albanu, René wants to offer others the opportunity to discover and appreciate the treasures he encountered during his journey in Africa.


Installation in the Principality of Monaco.

René Albanu moved to the Principality of Monaco in the 1930s, attracted by the prestige and dynamism of this small coastal state. Fascinated by the elegance of the Riviera and seduced by the sunny climate of the region, he sees in Monaco the ideal setting to give life to his entrepreneurial ambitions.

In this high place of society, René Albanu brings with him his visionary spirit and his taste for innovation. He quickly seized the opportunities offered by this cosmopolitan and enterprising microcosm. Inspired by the luxurious and refined atmosphere of Monaco, he decided to create his own company, imbued with his unique sense of style and excellence.

Thus, in the upscale salons and elegant streets of the Principality, the name of Albanu quickly becomes synonymous with quality, elegance and know-how. René Albanu, with his unparalleled flair for business and dedication to excellence, contributes to making Monaco a center of innovation and creativity in the luxury sector.



After the deportation of his father and foreman during the Second World War, René Albanu finds himself faced with a difficult choice: give in to fear and resignation, or act to defend one’s convictions and resist Nazi oppression. Driven by a deep sense of duty and justice, he decided to put his know-how at the service of the resistance.

Transforming the family factory into a clandestine bastion of the struggle against the occupier, René Albanu directs production towards the manufacture of weapons and equipment for resistance movements. Despite the high risks and constant pressure of the enemy, he conducts this secret enterprise with courage and determination, refusing to yield to the threat that weighs on him and his loved ones.

Through his ingenuity and unwavering commitment, René Albanu is able to provide freedom fighters with the means to fight the occupation. Its clandestine weapons become essential tools in resistance, helping to weaken the enemy and support the hope of liberation.

At the risk of his own life, René Albanu embodies the values of courage, determination and solidarity that animate the heroes of the resistance. His exemplary commitment to the fight against Nazi oppression will remain etched in history, testifying to the strength of the human will in the face of the darkest adversity.


Creation of the first elephant hair bracelet.

On the sacred soil trodden by the elephants of Africa, the workshops of the Albanu House gave birth to a revolution in the world of jewelry: the creation of the first bracelet in elephant hair. This bold innovation marks the beginning of an era where craftsmanship meets conservation, where beauty is fused with environmental responsibility.

Elephant hair, symbol of the power and majesty of these iconic creatures, becomes the basic material for the unique creations of the Maison Albanu. Through refined craft techniques, each bracelet is woven with infinite patience and unwavering dedication, embodying the very spirit of exceptional craftsmanship.

These unique jewels are not just works of art, but symbols of a deep commitment to wildlife conservation. Indeed, each sale contributes directly to the protection of elephants, thus guaranteeing a sustainable future for these wonderful creatures.

With two decades of hard work, Albanu has positioned itself as a pillar of the ethical and responsible jewelry industry. Our growing reputation in high jewelry, combined with our commitment to animal welfare, reinforces our legitimacy and our positive impact on the world around us.


The 1975 Washington Convention established CITES for elephants.

Elephant hair marketing becomes regulated: Albanu signs and adheres to it immediately.

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or Washington Convention) is an international agreement between States, adopted on 3 March 1973 and entered into force in 1975.

Its purpose is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species to which they belong.
It uses a system of permits and certificates issued under certain conditions.

Today, more than 5,950 animal species including elephants and 32,800 plant species are protected by CITES from overexploitation that would aim to fuel international trade.

Albanu is and will continue to be, through its commitment, the only jewellery brand in the world to be authorised to market elephant hair.


Death of René Albanu.

After the death of René Albanu, his son-in-law took over the family business. With a different vision, he decided to change course by focusing on the creation of more commercial, affordable products in large quantities. However, this new orientation gradually seems to erode the splendor and prestige inherited from the past.

Indeed, while the company is engaged in mass production and the democratization of its products, it seems to lose gradually this touch of elegance and exclusivity that once made its reputation. The creations, once unique and marked by refinement, now seem to blend into the mass, thus losing their distinctive shine.

Despite the changes, Maison Albanu retains its heritage and ancestral know-how. However, the focus on profitability and large-scale marketing seems to dilute the very essence of the brand, gradually depriving it of its magic and its aura of yesteryear.

In this new era, marked by divergent strategic choices, the company must carefully navigate between the need to adapt to market trends and maintaining its heritage and core values. Only the future will reveal whether this move towards more accessible products will be beneficial in the long term or whether it risks compromising the very essence of Maison Albanu.


Introduction of horsehair, creation of the Equus collection.

The noblest conquest of man, the horse, now finds a new incarnation in our creations. The simplicity and splendor that emanate from horsehair have naturally made it a raw material pampered in our workshops.

The Equus collection embodies this harmonious alliance between equestrian tradition and timeless elegance. Our craftsmen, imbued with passion for this majestic animal, meticulously shape each piece, celebrating the strength and beauty of the horse through unique jewelry.

Working with horsehair is much more than just creating jewelry. It is a tribute to the deep bond between man and animal, an approach marked by respect and gratitude to these exceptional companions. Each strand of horsehair is collected with delicacy, with the utmost respect for the well-being of your horse, testifying to our commitment to the respect and protection of these wonderful creatures.

Thus, the Equus collection embodies the perfect alliance between exceptional craftsmanship and equestrian passion, offering jewels that tell a story, that of the complicity and timeless beauty of horses.


Buffalo horn introduced, Savane collection created.

Force of nature, symbol of a vigor that makes him a lord with quiet power, the Ox is a totem animal of astonishing sweetness. It is in this spirit that Maison Albanu drew its inspiration to create the Savane collection, an ode to the majesty and grace of this emblematic animal of the vast expanses of Africa.

Each piece in the Savane collection reflects the strength and elegance of buffalo and elephant hair, capturing the very essence of these majestic animals. Our artisans, imbued with respect and admiration for this iconic creature, have made these qualities shine in each of the compositions, paying tribute to its value and grandeur.

The buffalo horn, a symbol of resilience and power, has established itself in this collection. Resulting from a deep reflection led by our workshops, it perfectly embodies the eminence and nobility of this totem animal. Each lucky bracelet created with this raw material breathes the very essence of the African savannah, evoking the vast plains where the buffalo reigns supreme.

Thus, the Savane collection offers much more than jewelry. It offers a sensory and emotional experience, nourishing both your adornment and the symbolism that envelops you when you wear these creations inspired by the quiet force of nature.


Albanu becomes Patented Supplier to S.A.S le Prince de Monaco.

By sovereign decision dated 31 December 2004, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince of Monaco honored the company by granting it the prestigious title of «Patented Supplier». This recognition illustrates the excellence and constant dedication of Maison Albanu to exceptional craftsmanship and impeccable service.

By becoming the Patented Supplier of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco, Albanu is committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and integrity in each of its creations. It is a privilege and an honour for us to contribute to the brilliance and radiance of the Principality, offering unique and refined pieces that embody the very essence of Monegasque luxury and elegance.

This prestigious distinction reinforces our commitment to continue our quest for excellence and innovation, while preserving the craft traditions that have made Maison Albanu famous for decades. We are proud to be able to continue to serve the princely family and to perpetuate the heritage of quality and distinction that characterizes our brand.

As a Patented Supplier, we are committed to honouring this recognition by offering our customers unique and unforgettable creations that meet the most demanding expectations. It is with a deep sense of gratitude and pride that we accept this title, and we pledge to carry it with dignity and respect, now and for generations to come.


Jean-Philippe Claret acquires Albanu.

Mr Claret’s acquisition of Albanu marks the beginning of a new era, a continuation of the human adventure begun by René Albanu himself. It is a renewed commitment to the animal cause and a broader vision that guides the steps of this iconic company.

In this new phase, the return to the sources is at the heart of our approach. We return to the very essence of what made Albanu magnificent: respect for nature, the promotion of exceptional craftsmanship, and a deep commitment to the preservation of the animal world.

Under the leadership of Jean-Philippe Claret, Albanu reinvents itself while remaining true to its founding values. Each creation reflects our unwavering commitment to beauty and authenticity, while supporting initiatives that work for animal welfare and environmental protection.

Through this acquisition, we are committed to perpetuating the brand’s heritage of quality and excellence, while instilling new energy and a resolutely forward-looking vision. We are determined to make every Albanu jewel a symbol of refinement, ethics and responsibility, thus carrying high the values that have always been at the heart of our company.

The human adventure continues, more inspiring than ever, with the ambition of returning to Albanu all its splendour and grandeur, while advancing the cause that is dear to us, that of preserving our planet and its most precious inhabitants.


Giraffe Mane Introduction.

Collected on the ground in a gesture of respect, giraffe hair is a material of a nobility rarely equaled. Its uniqueness and symbolism make it a fascinating source of inspiration. Learn with us to appreciate its richness and history.

By working with such a unique material, our workshops invite you to a journey into the heart of aesthetics, culture and nature. Every braiding, every manipulation, demonstrates our commitment to preserving the beauty and majesty of this iconic animal.

Through your giraffe hair bracelet, you become an actor in the preservation of these giants of Africa, thus contributing to the preservation of the biodiversity of the bush which is their natural habitat. Each jewel then becomes the symbol of a noble cause, that of the protection of endangered species and the preservation of our planet.

By choosing Albanu, you are choosing more than just a fashion accessory; you are joining an engaged community, aware of the importance of preserving the beauty and diversity of our world.


The 1975 Washington Convention established “CITES” certificates for giraffes.

The marketing of giraffe hair becoming regulated, Albanu also signs and fully adheres to this new Convention, immediately.

Each of our giraffe hair bracelets is accompanied by a CITES certificate demonstrating that its origin is perfectly legal and, moreover, will participate in its protection!

Our giraffe hair bracelets are no longer just lucky charms, they show your commitment.


Albanu Wildlife Foundation

The creation of the Albanu Wildlife Foundation marks a turning point in our commitment to the protection of African wildlife, symbolized by the iconic African elephant. Beyond our centuries-old contribution to the preservation of this majestic species, we aspire to act more comprehensively to preserve the integrity of the African bush ecosystem.

This deep commitment is driven by a passionate founder, Margaux Claret, whose unwavering kindness guides our every action. The creation of the Albanu Wildlife Foundation is the result of this desire to take concrete action for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of natural habitats in Africa.

Within this foundation, we are committed to various and varied actions, ranging from the protection of elephants and other endangered species to the fight against poaching, raising awareness among local populations and implementing sustainable development projects.

Albanu Wildlife Foundation is more than just an organization: it’s a commitment to the future of our planet, a call to action to protect and preserve the wonderful diversity of wildlife in Africa and beyond. We are proud to invite you to join us in this adventure, because together we can make a difference.


Apple Leather Introduction.

Apple leather straps embody the essence of ecological and responsible elegance. Aware of the urgency of preserving our planet, Maison Albanu has made the bold decision to reorient its collections towards environmentally friendly materials.

With this in mind, we chose to delete all collections that did not meet our ethical requirements, even the most emblematic ones. No more steel Cape Horn, goodbye to marine cables, whatever their “responsible” origin. We decided to focus on materials that demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and respect for nature.

Apple leather, an innovative material, perfectly embodies this vision. Made from apple residues, it offers an ecological and sustainable alternative to animal leather. Albanu workshops took this opportunity to exploit the full potential of this innovative material, highlighting its aesthetic aspect and unique qualities through creations as elegant as responsible.

Thus, Albanu apple leather bracelets are much more than just fashion accessories; they represent a commitment to preserving the environment and promoting ethical and sustainable fashion. By choosing Albanu, you choose jewelry that reflects your values while preserving the beauty and richness of our planet for future generations.


Mammoth hair and ivory introduction: Mammoth collection creation.

Global warming is thawing vast territories that have been trapped in ice for thousands of years. Each year, new mammoth fossils are discovered, offering a unique window into a distant past.

During our explorations, we had the privilege to discover near fossils hair still intact, preserved by frost for millennia. After months of research and meticulous effort, we managed to collect some precious grams of mammoth hair, among which were specimens of exceptional quality, preserved in their entire length.

These hairs, associated with rare ivory fragments, were carbon-14 dated by the prestigious CIRAM laboratory, revealing an impressive age of more than 40,000 years. From the mythical woolly mammoth, which has disappeared for millennia, today there are only legends, symbols and an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

This is all that we crystallize with Albanu through our new “Mammoth” collection of a rare exclusivity. Each piece in this collection embodies the echo of a lost world, capturing the very essence of history and fascination for these majestic creatures.

Wearing a jewel from the “Mammoth” collection connects you to a distant past and a bygone era, while celebrating the eternal beauty and fascination for these giants of the Ice Age.


Creation of the Shanga Collection.

Albanu’s Shanga Collection is much more than just a jewelry line; it’s a masterful fusion of raw materials’ raw elegance and precious gem sparkle. Designed in the spirit of “Shamballa” type bracelets, each piece embodies organic beauty and sophistication, resulting in unique creations that captivate the eye and soul.

Each bracelet in the Shanga Collection is an ode to harmony, skillfully combining the robustness of the marine cord with the bewitching warmth of buffalo pearls or tahitian pearls. The buffalo pearls, coming from the lands of Asia, offer a deep and lustrous black, symbolizing authenticity and rusticity. Their marriage with the marine cord evokes a traditional craft steeped in charm and character.

The Tahitian pearls, meanwhile, are jewels of the Pacific Ocean, of a rare and irreplaceable beauty. Their mysterious shades and depth of colour pay tribute to the exotic elegance of the islands. Combined with the marine cord, they create a sophisticated yet relaxed aesthetic, perfect for any occasion.

Finally, gold or diamond beads add an ultimate touch of luxury and sparkle to every Shanga bracelet. They symbolize strength and inner beauty, reminding that true elegance lies in the details. With the Shanga Collection, Albanu celebrates the perfect alliance between nature, sophistication and luxury, offering its customers jewelry that transcends time and trends.


EVEN MORE: 2024 is a pivotal year for us.

10% of each of our sales, even 50% for the sales of our special Albanu Wildlife Foundation collection, are donated to our Foundation.

Follow our actions, participate, join our partnerships: it is together that we proudly bear this dedication!

The elephant, like the rhinoceros, like all the biodiversity of the African bush, so that they can live there, so that they continue to make us dream of a better world, both for them and for us, their preservation is our duty.

Let this symbol shine on your wrist.