Today, we are having a little chat with Emmanuelle Di Rito, one half of the brain and heart behind So Chic, the Pop up shop events to sell and buy preloved designer clothes, shoes and bags – Second life fashion for Women and kids.
Lovely Emma, charming petite brunette from Paris has what non French people call “je ne sais quoi”, an effortless charm mix with a sober sophistication. Her multicultural family (hubby is Italian) had dimension to an already very charming affair. Lovely to meet her again in the newly set up So Chic location, at Dtales to talk about her joy and struggles of being a working mum and some of her Dubai favorites. But first let’s have a coffee…
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFE (or tea)?
Coffee. I take it black and long. Sugar but no milk! What makes my husband desperate as any italian, he doesn’t consider an americano to be a ‘cafe’ ! But in the morning I like my large warm drink to wake up! I never drink cafe after 4pm or won’t be able to sleep at night!
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? TOP 3-5 FAVORITE SPOT IN YOUR HOOD?
I live in Jumeirah 3.
– the beach: kite beach or Ness Ness beach, I love to go there during week ends and meet up with friends, after school with kids or even alone in the morning to walk in the water and relax!I feel so lucky to live so close to the beach. It makes me appreciate Dubai even more . I feel on holiday all year every time I see the sea!!
– Mozzo Centrale on Umm Al Sheif, we very often stop there after school with the kids to drink a juice and eat a snack before going back home for homework! They serve italian food and the tiramisu is just delicious. I also like to go there and work from the terrace as they have wifi and as a parisian, I love terasse!
– Dtales is one of my favorite boutique in Jumeirah. As a teenager I lived in Sweden, since then I kept a special love for swedish design and interiors. I like the way Lars, the owner created such a cosy, warm atmosphere in his boutique. You just want to buy everything or move in!
EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
Definitly night owl!! It takes me a long time in the morning to wake up and to function! With the kids to get ready and drive to school, I don’t really have the choice. But they know that before my coffee it is difficult to talk to me! And even if I am tired all day, when the evening comes, my energy is back!! I always had better concentration in the evening to work, even when I was a student, I could never study in the morning. I can also stay out until early morning when I party! The morning after will be a disaster, nothing I can do about it! I like the night.
A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
I don’t wear much make up. French habits!! I only use a day cream with UV protection as in Dubai you are constantly exposed to the sun. Since Benefits Cosmetics is in partnership with So Chic I discovered the PoreFessional and can’t live without it anymore! I also love red lipstick. I would never do my eyes and lips at the same time, to avoid the ‘carnival’ effect – disaster! I need to learn to apply make up better. I love having my make up done by someone!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
If I look at my wardrobe, I always go for the same colours! I can define my style as very parisian, I think! Very simple and sober. I wear a lots of black, flat shoes (except at night) black skinny pants, simple but always try to get the right cut for my body type. I am also obsessed with fabrics! Cashmere, silk and leather! I like things that are easy to wear and as a french woman, I like when it doesn’t look to sophisticated, not over accessorised. I feel confortable with my skinny black jeans, black tailored blazers, flat black shoes and silk white blouse. It’s kind of my uniform! Being in Dubai, I don’t get to wear jeans and boots as often as I would like. Also since moving to this country, I became a fan of glitter… My style icons are Emanuel Alt, Charlotte Gainsbourg and her sister Lou Doillon.
HAS IT CHANGED SINCE YOU’VE BECOME A PARENT?
I don’t really think so. Of course they are some fabrics I did not wear for a couple of years like silk or cashmere and choose cotton instead!!! It had to be easy and comfortable but I don’t think I ever got away from my style. After birth you feel nothing suits you anymore and nothing looks nice but colours remained the same and style as well! I remember avoiding skirts and high heals at the beginning. Also my handbags got bigger! But now they are grown up (Matteo is 8 and Alice is 5), I can wear again my favorite fabrics without fear that they will drop their lunch on it, wear a skirt as I don’t have to be in inappropriate position every 2 minutes and even wear heels as I don’t need to run after them every 2 seconds!
WHAT WE WON’T FIND IN YOUR CLOSET?
Flashy colors, tight clothes, mini skirt, cheap fabrics, 12 cm high heels, and chouchou (scrunchy) for my hair.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MOM ICONS, EITHER CELEBRITY OR REAL WOMEN YOU KNOW?
I have different mums in mind, I think about them in different situation. Nobody is perfect! But I admire one for her patience, another one for her creativity and enthusiasm when it comes to kids playtime. One I admire for the perfect education she will give to her kids and some other because they seem to have the perfect balance with professional and family time. I would like to be all of this!!! I think mums of our generation put too much pressure on themselves. I like to read blogs as “Wondermum en a ras la cape” or “Maman masquee” to feel like I am not the only one who makes mistakes! I admire more woman that won’t pretend to be the best mum ever but won’t hesitate to share and laugh about it!
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF MOTHERHOOD ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy each moment with the kids! It will never be perfect! I do mistakes, I learned to say I am sorry to my kids, mummy is just like you, she does mistakes! Once someone told me trying to be perfect all the time does not work and put to much pressure on the kids!!! I am very far from perfection but I’ve learned a lot with them, about myself, about what I would like for them and try to adjust my behaviour! At least, I try!
HOW DO YOU BALANCE MOTHERHOOD AND WORK?
This is the hardest part! I used to work and travel a lot when my kids were babies and I decided to stop working as I felt I needed more time to enjoy motherhood and be with them. But after 2 years, when someone asked my son Matteo what his mum was doing and he answered: nothing! I was desperate!!! Is that how Matteo sees me? Everything was so normal: being the driver, the cooker, the doctor, the tutor, the cleaner, make sure they always get what they need, have a social life… It was time to go back to work! I did not look for a full time job as I still wanted to be with them after school but I needed to go back to myself!
With So Chic I found my way! I work and still can spend time with the kids! Most of the time, sometime it doesn’t work this way! I work much more and don’t spend enough time with them again! I have gained freedom and I do something I love.
My kids are proud when they see my picture in a magazine and my son knows what to say when someone asks him what I do!!! He answers: She is So Chic! It might seem a bit ridiculous but it gives me a lot of satisfaction. What they think about me (my husband included) is way more important to me than anybody else!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT INTO So CHIC.
I studied law in Paris and worked as a lawyer for many years. When I moved to Rome, I started to work for an international organisation and was traveling a lot. I enjoyed it – traveling is a real passion of mine . But when my first child Matteo was born it was getting very difficult. When Alice was born, I did not enjoy it anymore at all! Being away from them for 1 or 2 weeks was a real challenge. Most of the projects I was working for were in Africa and it was difficult with the time difference. I remember having conference call with the laptop in the bathroom while the kids were having their bath with the mute button on! When it was my turn to speak, I had to pray kids would not scream at this right moment! I was away when Alice first walked! I still remember being so frustrated not to being at home this day! When Alice was 2 and Matteo 5, I decided to stop! I enjoyed it for 2 years until Matteo saw me as someone who was doing nothing!
When I moved to Dubai, I first settled the family and was looking for a job when the idea of having a ‘vide dressing’ with Alex became So Chic! Nothing was planned! I never imagined it could go on after the first sale! We had just arrived in Dubai when we started, we did not know many people and our professional network was close to zero! We met so many great people in less than a year! I am very happy about it!
ANY EXCITING CAREER-RELATED EVENTS COMING UP THAT YOU CAN SHARE?
As you know Nyla house has closed down and we have moved in a new location: Dtales. Feel free drop by with your items for the up coming sale. We are lucky to be part of this amazing Scandinavian concept boutique. It is such a nice environment and I am sure So Chic girls will love the place. Every time we happened to go to Dtales, we wanted to buy everything or just moved in to the interiors Lars (the owner) has created! How great it is to work everyday from such a nice place!
Our next So Chic event will be in May. We also have many new ideas for the coming year. Surprise!!! We love this project and put a lot of our self in it. I am thankful to have started this adventure with Alex. We are very complementary and always have the same vision of what we want to do with So Chic. I feel lucky we found each other. She is a mum like me and the balance with work and family is important for her as much as it is for me.
Thank you Emma!
Can’t wait to see more of So Chic…
Original article: http://www.dubaioursandbox.com/2015/03/un-petit-cafe-with-emma.html