Fashion blogger and full-time mom, Nirit Sumeruk can’t help preserving each memory and experience she has through her love of photographs. She talks about her life in Paris, recounts her first Michelin-starred restaurant experience and why she started her much-loved blog.
You can’t help but not like Nirit Sumeruk. When she opens the door to her apartment in a chic Parisian suburb her smile is warm and welcoming. I’m instantly attracted to her fun, un-intimidating and friendly personality and she has a way of immediately disarming you. Her energy is infectious and easy-going which probably has much to do with her very global upbringing.
Born to Argentinian parents and one of 4 children, she was brought up in Cape Town, South Africa. After her final year at university she moved to London to do a gap year, followed by a few years in Tel Aviv where she worked for MTV which is what eventually brought her to Paris for a four-day job – where serendipitously she met her French husband. After a long distance romance, Nirit moved to Paris in June 2006 and as they say, the rest is history.
Nirit offers me coffee and decides that she’ll have her own version of ‘tea’ – hot water, milk and honey – which she says is a recipe of her South African childhood nanny, just another example of how she’s easily adjusted and merged her experiences.
As we sit and start chatting I’m drawn to the apartment’s spectacular and unobstructed view of one of Paris’s most beautiful monuments, Les Invalides. Nirit says, “We love this suburb and it would be hard to live anywhere else, even thought we’d love to have more space”. To her own admission her life can feel a little chaotic and disorganised at times what with two small kids, (AND another one of the way), running a fashion blog and her busy social life she doesn’t have much time for the boredom of organisation and knows that in some way it will all get done.
After living for two years in Paris and completing an acting course at Cours Florent, Nirit started the much-loved fashion blog, Paris Popcorn. She explains, “I was inspired when I met so many fabulous people who mingled in the world of burlesque cabarets – the people, the costumes, their life! I felt that I had to document everything I saw and so started the blog in 2008. After that it just snowballed, I fell in love with the fashion scene in Paris, I started attending the fashion shows, met street photographers and more people in the industry and that’s how the blog has evolved.”
Nirit loves ‘documenting’ and her apartment is one large memory box full of souvenirs that she’s collected. When I ask where the love of preserving memories comes from she tells me, “My dad used to film so much, it was the 80’s and he had one of those big video cameras. Now I love taking photographs and capturing the moment, I guess because my dad did it too.” She continues explaining that she usually keeps holiday cards for one year and that she loves anything creative and appreciates that the sender has taken the time to be thoughtful and creative. However, she notes that she doesn’t function well with clutter and to make room for new memories she de-clutters some of the old ones, hence keeping them for only a year.
This is what has made Paris Popcorn successful, Nirit’s distingtive ability to preserve and narrate a memory, that, and her fun and enthusiastic voice is clear in her writting.
On role models
“I’d obviously say my mom, she had four kids, managed to earn a whole bunch of university degrees and even had time to open up her own real estate and tourism business. Most importantly, I’ve learnt to listen to her! I also admire my French mother-in-law for her aesthetics, she puts a lot of design thought into everything and makes everything she does beautiful, it’s important. I love different aspects from different friends and I love reading other bloggers to get inspiration on how they organise their lives and how they travel.”
She laughs at this question and replies “I have a great reflexologist!” But continues, “For some reason whenever I cross Pont d’Iena after popping into WH Smith for english magazines, it always gives me a sense that I can do this. Perhaps it’s the sense of freedom that I experience when I see the Seine, pont d’Alexandre and beyond. Plus I have a fabulous husband and great friends.”
On living in Paris
“Well, now I’ve got used to eating french food. In the beginning I found it hard to find anything I liked on the menu – everything was so exotic. Before we got married, my husband once took me to a beautiful chateau with a tasting menu and all I was thinking was, how to I tell this man that I don’t eat 10 out of the 15 things. So I embarrassingly apologised and they brought out the chef, can you imagine that? The chef came out, he asked me what I do like and then he specially created 13 things that I could eat. That was the first and last time that we went to a michelin-starred restaurant!”
On balancing motherhood and marriage
“Once you have kids you have to wear many hats, the wifey hat, the drool-proof mommy hat, the your-own-person hat, and you have to wear them all properly – you learn as you go. Listen to your partner. Listening to your kids. I also have a hard copy A4 agenda book that stays in the house so I’m able to put our family’s schedule in it and I can see what’s happening in advance and be more organised.”
On her beauty routine:
I’m a big believer in drinking lots of water especially for my skin. I cleanse, tone and moisturise religiously and I use YSL touché éclat – it’s a staple in my make-up box and nothing compares.
On pregnancy and a third baby:
“I’m excited! Super excited – I might have to be less sentimental, maybe I won’t have any time this time round. This baby will have to fit into a family of five! Wow! A Family of five! It’ll have to get used to hand-me-downs. I’m better prepared and I’m not as anxious and I’m just looking forward to having another bébé”
On her fashion essentials:
I Love my handbags and shoes like most girls. I’m not too fussy about the brands that I wear – I have the practical brands that I’d get from high street stores and then I have my “show-pieces” like Bulgari, Dior, Louis Vuitton which I plan to hold on to for many years. You have to have a nice handbag when you’re in the fashion industry! I love accessories and have a box of all my favourites such as my moms vintage necklace and matching earrings.