As Zayn Malik tells it, he and now-girlfriend Gigi Hadid met at a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after-party in New York in November 2015. He went up to her because he recognized her "from her picture," he told ES magazine, and they had their first date later that week at restaurant Gemma in the Bowery Hotel.
But that wasn't the first night the two actually talked—they connected years before, Gigi Hadid told Ellen DeGeneres this week.
"We actually met at a friend's birthday party a few years ago," she said. At the time, Malik was likely dating his former fiancée, Perrie Edwards (whom he was with from 2011 to August 2015), and Hadid was likely with singer Cody Simpson (whom she dated on and off for about two years, until May 2015).
Hadid was super interested in Malik—and went out of her way to make their reunion happen in 2015 when they were both single. "He was in New York to come to the Victoria's Secret show last year, I think, and ended up not coming. And I was like, I'll play it cool. Like, I'll go to the after-party. He wasn't there. And then later that week we ended up going on our first date." (At what party she did meet him, Hadid didn't specify.)
The spark was instant. "We played it cool for like 10 minutes and then I was like, 'You're really cute.'" Hadid said. "We connected like, really quickly, and just—we just started, like yeah, we had the kind of same sense of humor and [started] sharing videos and obviously Noah Ritter videos started coming up…."
One year later, they're still going very strong:
Originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk