The Real Girlfriends in Paris on What "French Chic" Really Looks Like

The cast of the Real Girlfriends of Paris


The cast of Real Girlfriends in Paris knows exactly what you’re thinking: Bravo, home to the reality juggernaut Real Housewives franchise, is getting in on the non-scripted Emily in Paris game. (Think what NYC Prep was to Gossip Girl.) The parallels are certainly there: American twenty-somethings Anya Firestone, Emily Gorelik, Kacey Margo, Margaux Lignel, Adja Toure, and Victoria Zito spend the series discovering life, love, and Louboutins in the City of Lights, all while documenting it for the ‘gram.

And while they won’t fight the comparisons—“I mean, my name is Emily,” Gorelik wryly notes—they also want to make it clear: The life of a young American ex-pat in Paris isn’t all macarons and beau garçons. “There are ups, there are downs, and it’s not always rosy and romantique and perfect here,” says Gorelik. “We’re showing to the world that life isn’t always the stereotype here.”

The series follows the group as they navigate the typical trials and tribulations of young adulthood—dating, friendships, school, and building careers—all while establishing a home halfway around the world. (NBD.) “Paris is more than just selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower and aerial shots of croissants,” says Firestone. “There’s an incredible depth.”

Keep reading to learn a little more about the cast.

On Contemporary French Style 

Anya: “I have such a passion for fashion as artwork. Style-wise, people will say, ‘Oh, you look so Parisian,’ but no. A contemporary Parisian woman today is in a little leather biker jacket, a pair of jeans, and her hair looks a little messy but it took two hours to do; she went to spin class but she’d never tell you about it. She puts on her red lipstick and maybe a little mascara, and she’d never get gel tips on her nails.”

The Differences Between American and French Style 

Margaux: “In New York, you could be walking down the street butt naked and no one would look at you twice. In France, that would never happen. [Similarly in France] if I’m wearing Lululemon or a workout set, people look at me like I’m the craziest person in the world, even though everyone in New York is in athleisure.”

Victoria: “I had never even had a passport before I moved; I had never been to Europe, I had never been exposed to another country before. So when I moved, my biggest shock was seeing 80-year-olds have better style than me. Everyone is so chic! It doesn’t matter how old people are, they’re rocking Miu Miu and Prada. And even if it isn’t designer, it’s put together so chic.”

Adja: “The natural, clean beauty movement that we’re seeing in America is actually a few years behind what the French are doing. If you think of brands like Caudalie, or if you think about the new, cleaner brands that [the big companies] are coming out with, everything is trending to the way white women in Paris are already doing their looks. Which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing! Because it can apply to any skin tone and they are making it more inclusive.”

The cast of the Real Girlfriends of Paris

Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

The Pieces They Can’t Live Without 

Anya: “I do have this vintage, shocking pink Dior opera coat from like the 1950s that I was given as a gift. It has little cigarette burns in it which I find so charming, and it absolutely goes with everything.”

Emily: “This is so cliche, but it’s the truth—it’s my Levi’s jeans.”

Adja: "[Displays a nameplate necklace] That and one knotted Celine bracelet that I wore every day. And a smile!”

Kacey: “I didn’t put it on because I wanted to look like an adult today, but I have this really cool watch—that is not for children—that slaps on.”

Adja: “I remember that thing! Does it tell time?”

Kacey: “It does! I can’t read it, but it is a fully functioning watch. It’s a slap bracelet with a little astronaut. I wanted to get it signed by my crush Thomas Pesquet, he’s an astronaut. I also have jewelry that I’ve made. I made everybody in the cast bracelets.”

Margaux: “My best buy, that I still wear like crazy, is the Prada combat boots with the thick sole. I still wear them all the time—you can ask Victoria—and I got them years ago. They’re still my favorite shoes.”

Victoria: “You can tell Margaux and I are really friends because I have the exact same answer! She and I own the exact same pair of combat boots, and I think sometimes we both show up in them.” 

Margaux: “I have your pair in my apartment!! We share closets.”

Emily: “That’s the thing about the show, you have six completely different styles.”

Anya: “Oh yeah. Like, Margaux will be in Ugg boots in sweatpants—”

Emily: “—Adja could be in a blazer.”

Anya: “And Emily could have a bra on over her shirt!”

The cast of the Real Girlfriends of Paris

Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

On Developing Their Own Franco-American Style 

Anya: “The contemporary Parisian woman I am definitely not, style-wise. But Paris is a place I feel extremely comfortable expressing myself. I think some people try to create their personalities by what they put on, but I try to show my personality and what I love by what I put on.”

Victoria: “I think that Paris has really allowed me to express myself in my style. Texas can sometimes be really conservative—girls wear short skirts and shorts but in Paris, it's less about being provocative and more about being experimental. If I wanna channel my inner Rick Owens—all black and goth—and then the next day do crazy blush all over my face, no one bats an eye because [the vibe] is so artistic.”

Kacey: “It’s funny because the flowy, open, Coachella style of L.A. works in Paris for, like, the three days that it’s sunny. When I came to Paris, I had to pick my favorite L.A. clothes, and then invest in more clothes like my New York clothes—I went to college there, and it’s the first time I ever had to buy a coat—so that I could learn how to go between chic student, and sexy business lady, and cool teacher. But you will catch me looking like a French lady in L.A., and looking like Coachella in the middle of the Seine. I’d describe my style as modern Fran Fine.”

Adja: “Bare-faced beauty is popular in Paris, and I’m very bold about my makeup so I definitely stick out sometimes. But there’s no such thing as bad press, right? Keep looking!”

Emily: “I can definitely relate to the modern-day Parisian because I discovered fashion here. Most of my clothes are my mother’s, I don’t really shop very much. I love to thrift, I love vintage; that’s a huge part of my wardrobe. Messy French girl!” 

Anya: “But put together and deliberate!” 

Related Stories