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Women’s Stories – A conversation with Nurit Kariv

August 24, 2023
Nurit Kariv X iota
Ph. Dan Perez

Nurit Kariv is a lifestyle icon and a mesmerizing woman. She is a leading food stylist in Israel and over the world. Last year she launched her brand – NU, under which she produces exciting items in collaboration with designers she likes. Nurit contacted us just when we decided we wanted to contact her. The connection, as expected, was immediate. Nurit won us over at first sight with her smile, imagination, and energy. Pretty soon we knew that something very creative was about to be born. The result lays in front of you (:

The bag we designed together will be part of Nurit’s sale on September 8-9 at “Habanot” space, 37 Israel Meslant St. Tel Aviv. We hope to see you there.

And now for the interview with Nurit:

hand crochet luxury bag
Ph. Dan Perez

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Nurit Kariv, a north Tel Avivian born in 1961.

I was born and raised in a design environment, my father was a well-known interior designer with fine taste, I was raised to love culture, art and aesthetics, something that had a great impact and was an integral part of my life. I spent time with my parents at exhibitions, our house was full of objects that were chosen with love and care. My parents really liked to cook and host, my sister and I were sous chefs from childhood, another element along the way that probably influenced my work today.

I drew a lot as a child and what interested me the most was the color combinations, which have become my visual language today, and part of the house I live in today.

hand crochet luxury bag
Ph. Dan Perez

Tell us about your work. What field do you come from?

I studied visual design at Bezalel and upon graduation I chose the world of textiles. I worked at Kitan, I was exposed to the world’s leading textile and interior design companies, and I was blown away by what I experienced.

At Kitan I also realized that I am very attracted to styling. I liked to combine elements into a composition that made sense and produced emotion. Pretty quickly I became the company’s styling manager and had an opportunity to become professional. When I was fired from Kitan, I naturally found myself freelancing as a stylist for companies.

I really enjoyed it and pretty quickly realized that this is what I want to do. I got a chance to specialize in food styling and that’s how I actually got to combine my two great loves – food and design.

Today I work as a stylist in the fields of food (books, packaging, advertisements, websites of food companies, etc.) interior design and cosmetics (Tollman’s, Caesar Stone, etc.). I also advise companies on concept building and visual language.

How does craft and handicraft meet all this?

During all my career I had the chance to work and collaborate with a lot of designers, artisans, ceramicists, textile designers and design stores. I always had a dream to be not only the collector of things but a partner in the design process.

Only at the age of 60 did it happen.

It started in cooperating with Adam Levy the great glassblower. We dreamed of a glass stand in two colors for desserts and cakes. I’ve always loved cake stands (romantic that I am). I didn’t know at that moment that I was starting a brand, but it caught on and that’s how I started NU. From there, many more beautiful and different collaborations unfolded.

Why did you choose to collaborate with iota? What does working together mean to you?

I follow iota with enthusiasm. A brand that works amazingly in an inspiring way. Turning to you was natural for me. I wanted to produce something from my world that appeals to femininity and fashion. The truth is that the bag we created is much more than I dared to dream. A perfect bag and I imagine it in many more colors and combinations.

hand crochet luxury bag
Ph. Dan Perez

Life recommendation / exhibition / album / motto?

I really like to travel in London, Paris and Europe in general, and I’ve always been traveling there. Exhibitions, boutiques, design and craft stores excite me and make me happy.

I don’t have a motto in designing a space – I know how to appreciate any design style when the space is well made and accurate. When the lighting is flattering. When the styling compliments the structure and concept. I really appreciate and enjoy houses whose owners reflect personal taste in them. Such houses inspire me more than houses that are superbly designed but remain alienated and lacking in personality.

When the design is good, everything is in place and there is no need for explanations. In all areas of design – to see a perfect book, a perfect photograph, a perfect house and a perfect bag – when the whole is exciting – to me it’s simply a great pleasure.

What are you working on these days? What are the plans for the future?

Today I am working on the NU sale that will be held on September 8-9 in Tel Aviv. I will be presenting the latest products for NU and also a few items that have already been presented in previous sales.

These are very difficult and sad days for me and for most of us. I hope that the sale will be a happy place, if only for a few hours. I hope that people will treat themselves to beautiful new items for the new year and that we will have a better year than the previous one.

After the sale I will rest a bit and think about what to do next. And I’m already dreaming about the next project with Iota!!

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