An American in Paris
On a Bravo reality TV series, Emily Gorelik explores the world’s most romantic city on viewers’ behalf. But she’ll never forget her Bergen roots.
Before she was living a glamorous life in the 4th arrondissement of Paris—a life now being documented on Bravo’s newest reality series, Real Girlfriends in Paris—Emily Gorelik was a Bergen County girl with big dreams. Raised in Alpine, Gorelik, now 22, attended the last two years of high school online, allowing her to complete her school assignments on nights and weekends so she could work during the day at her mother’s interior design business, which she renamed Interior Productions in 2019. That same year, Gorelik uprooted her life in the tri-state area and halted her studies at New York University to move to the City of Light, where she’s pursued studies in design and business—and become a bona fide reality TV star.
What’s been the craziest part of the reality TV experience?
Learning how to become completely vulnerable and allowing the cameras full access into my private life. Even through the ups and downs, it’s a dream to share this journey with the world.
When producers approached you after finding you on social media, did you have any hesitations?
The idea of this experience was surreal! I was in awe that people genuinely were curious about the lives of Americans in Paris. It was a very fast process, so I didn’t get to have moments of hesitation.
You learned a lot about fashion and interior design working with your mom. How has that given you the drive to succeed in the industry in Paris?
I spent my high school years shadowing my mom in her interior design business. I was thoroughly exposed to all aspects of the design world, and that made continuing in the industry a natural fit for me when I moved to Paris. My mother has taught me that anything is possible.
Did you know the other cast members before filming began?
It’s a small world here in the Paris expat community. So even if you don’t know everyone, you know someone who knows someone. I didn’t know all of the girls very well from the start. Getting to know them was less about filming and more about connecting with other women who are undergoing a similar life change.
What do you and the girls like to do in Paris when you’re not filming?
Much of what viewers see on the show is what we enjoy doing even when we’re not in front of cameras—wining, dining, shopping, museums, markets, dating. But one aspect that RGIP viewers don’t see much of is my studies and school life. I am a student here in Paris, studying business and luxury design management.
What has been the biggest “pinch me” moment?
Every day is a “pinch me” moment—whether I happen to pass by the Eiffel Tower on my way to school or I’m sipping a coffee by the brasserie on a warm afternoon. Most of all, it’s when I find myself aware of speaking in full French conversations, that I feel that sense of “OMG, I actually live in France and speak French. Am I Parisian now?”
What do you miss most about New Jersey?
Aside from my family, I miss certain parts of the American lifestyle. For example, although I love the pace of life here in Paris and the “joie de vivre,” there are moments where I crave American efficiency, where I don’t have to wait for weeks for someone to fix my heater, or have to call eight different numbers to reach someone at my bank!
What are your favorite spots in Bergen County?
I am a Bergen girl for life! Crossroads Deli in Bergenfield, Celebrity Bagels in Tenafly, Nonna Clementina and Rudy’s Pizza in Closter and Kiku in Paramus are all my childhood holy grails. Every time I’m back home, I must make a stop at each.
What’s up next for you, personally and professionally?
Since the show has aired, I’ve had a lot of exciting doors open up. I’m in my final year of studies, so I am looking forward to wrapping it up and finally being able to enter the professional world full time. I completed my fashion internship, and I’m expanding my mom’s design business here in Paris. I have also started fulfilling my growing passion in real estate. Aside from that, I’m still living my normal 22-year-old life in Paris, enjoying my friends, searching for love and exploring Europe any chance I get.
Real Girlfriends in Paris airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo—you can stream the entire season on Peacock.