You’ve seen our #RMDENIM campaign and fallen in love – but did you know that our costarring models are actually a real-life couple as well?
Meet Kristell and Vincent, the on- and off-screen lovebirds whose aww-inspiring, whirlwind romance brings out the hopeless romantic in all of us. Brought together by Hurricane Sandy, reunited across cities and continents, and now living in their very own DIY-furnished apartment in New York City, they remind us that love at first sight is a real thing.
Tell us your story! Where and how did you two meet?
Kristell: We met in a bar on 7th and A one week before Hurricane Sandy. It was my first time in NYC — a new base after living in France and Bali for most of my life. Vincent had been living in NYC for four and a half years.
Vincent: That night, I went out for a drink. When I entered the bar, I saw a girl from Bali whom I had actually never met, but I recognized her because of our mutual friends in Indonesia. We talked for a while — she mentioned she was here for a shoot and having a wrap-up drink with the crew.
How did you end up reconnecting after that night?
Kristell: We texted trying to see each other for about a week unsuccessfully, and when Sandy happened, Vincent sent me quite a few messages inviting me to crash over at his [place] in Williamsburg. I didn’t know anyone in the city well enough to ask for help, but I turned down his offer as I couldn’t move in with a total stranger — until they announced electricity would take up to 10 days to turn back on in my area. So I ended up taking him up on his offer, and arrived at his at my very worst: sick and showering from a saucepan with no clean clothes. He was leaving four days later, so I basically helped him pack, do laundry, clean up, and paint over his place for the next tenant.
This sounds like a scene out of a movie! So how did your relationship become official?
Kristell: We continued getting to know each other every single day by spending hours on Skype. The only thing I knew was that I had a return ticket to Bali mid-December. So two weeks after we met, Vincent booked his ticket to arrive in Bali on the first of January so we could start the New Year together.
When we came back to NYC together from Bali, we decided to move in right away in a three-month sublet to try things out. When we thought things could be more permanent, we started looking for an apartment, and learned that his old place, that very apartment where we fell in love, was going to be free in June. We secured the lease and moved back in, painting the place all over again. Ta-da, and here we are!
We love your apartment! Where did you find inspiration for decorating the space? Where did you shop for your furniture, especially the cool skateboard coffee table?
Kristell: Aww thank you! When we moved back in, the place was quite bare but still had some of Vincent’s original furniture. The skateboard table was one of them — he made it! He’s super handy and I love that about him. A lot of what we have are actually leftovers from the streets. A restaurant was closing downstairs the day we moved in, so we grabbed a few things like the kitchen table and chairs.
Vincent: We also designed and made some stuff together, like the bamboo frame with the lights above the bed, and the antler turned into lights above the skateboard table. I don’t know where we get our inspiration from, though. We just have similar taste and like to come up with this stuff. It’s fun for us.
Can you share any dating tips for New Yorkers?
Kristell: It’s hard for us to say because the concept of “dating” isn’t something we really do in France — it’s never that official. But if I wanted to spend some quality time with a person I like, I’d try and make it something special and out of the ordinary, which could feed conversation and you would get to share something memorable. NYC has lots of places like that. Even a museum trip could be cool here.
Vincent: No need to go to a fancy place! Just keep things simple. There are lots of cozy joints in the city.
What are your go-to date spots in New York City?
Vincent: When we want to spend some romantic time together, we enjoy a nice, simple restaurant and a drink somewhere with good music. We like places that can inspire us.
Kristell: We just discovered a little park by the water up our street and great coffee next to it. For a romantic sunset, that’s our go-to spot.
Kristell, what is the sweetest thing Vincent has done for you?
Kristell: Oh, I can’t just name one! Vincent has fulfilled my dreams and broadened my horizons. He makes me travel with him when a job takes him overseas, so we get to live and see things, unlike most couples our age. We’ve also teamed up as a film directing duo. I used to be a still-shoots art director, and now I get to do it with him. But if I had to quote a small something that really touched me as being sweet, I guess it was when he asked my mother to teach him one of her Chinese family recipes, so he could cook for me if I ever fall sick.
Vincent, what are your top three favorite traits of Kristell?
Vincent: Her creativity, her generosity, her vision, her… Three, you said? Well, I’ll have to stop here then. But, Kristell keeps surprising me all the time. She sets the level very high for me to follow sometimes, which is how she constantly drives me to go forward and further with goals, to make other people happy, and to make this world a better place where everyone respects and learns from each other.
Describe what it was like shooting a fashion campaign together for Rebecca Minkoff Denim.
Kristell: Oh, it felt so natural! It’s always overwhelming having so many people around during a shoot, but not this time. The team was great, it was more like hanging out together rather than working. Plus, we had so much left over from the catering that we had a nice little stock for two days after the shoot!
Vincent: It was a great experience, and it was good to be able to share a little bit of our chemistry on camera too. It felt easy, since we could simply be ourselves.
How do you like to style your denim?
Kristell: I love denim because it is the one piece in my wardrobe I can style however I like: from casual to edgy, depending on the day I’m about to spend. I’m not so much of a clothes person and lived out of one suitcase for a long time, so I like to be as versatile as possible. I’m mostly a jeans and T-shirt girl, so that’s how I’d style them the most often.
Vincent: With a nice quality T-shirt and checkered shirt over it. The shoes are the final touch that can change the style of my look: Skateboard shoes if I’m out skateboarding and want to keep things loose; leather sneakers for meetings in the city or if I go out at night.
Top photo credit: Antonin Guidicci