Meet-cute (n): a cute, charming, or amusing first encounter between romantic partners
We asked three friends of Fashion Quarterly to share the movie-worthy meet-cutes that brought them and their significant other together.
Shelley Ferguson | @shelleyfergusonnz
The editorial director of Fashion Quarterly, Simply You, Your Home and Garden, Nadia and Taste magazines met surf lifesaving coach Steven in 2007. They married in 2009 and now have two children together.
“When I was editor of Cleo, I chose Steve to be one of our 12 Bachelors of the Year. An athlete at the time, his talent agency put him forward and I said yes based on a photograph.
We crossed paths at the photo shoot — I was leaving as he arrived— but by the time the competition culminated in the Bachelor of the Year party, we still hadn’t met properly.
As part of the event, we’d organised a speed- dating session with 12 local female celebrities. One of the girls pulled out at the last minute and — you guessed it — I was the ring-in.
I remember the moment Steve walked in. He was wearing an old T-shirt and ripped jeans, had long hair and was pretty shy despite his 6’5” frame.
I loved how real and manly he looked — like he should have be on the set of Vikings, and I used to want to be Ayla from The Clan of the Cave Bear, so you get where I was going with that fantasy.
Unfortunately, the night was running behind schedule, and the speed-dating was stopped before we got to chat. Afterwards, he told me I was the only woman he’d been looking forward to talking to.
We had our own speed-date right there at the bar, and ended up laughing and playing pea-knuckle war for hours. Our lives probably wouldn’t have intersected otherwise, so thank goodness for Cleo for bringing us together.”
Gosia Piatek | @kowtowclothing
The founder and creative director of Kowtow met film-maker Thomas in 2013. They now have a son, Laker, and divide their time between New Zealand and London.
“Our story is a bit Eat Pray Love. I was in Kolkata, India, staying in the majestic Oberoi Hotel while finishing off sampling for one of our collections. I’d spotted a tall Westerner every few days at the hotel, but didn’t make much of it. Then one Sunday morning, he came up to my table at breakfast, so I invited him to sit down for a cup of tea.
It turned out Thomas was a film director from London and in Kolkata shooting a music video. Our conversation about creativity and travel flowed so easily that suddenly it was lunchtime and we were the only people left in the hotel restaurant. We arranged to meet for dinner that evening beside the swimming pool.
The night was incredibly romantic — we chatted and swam till five in the morning.
A few hours later, Thomas caught his flight back to London, but when I returned to New Zealand we started Skyping each other every day, for hours at a time. During one of these conversations, we decided we wanted to have a baby together — total madness! — so a few months later, we met in Bali for a few weeks, and shortly after that I flew to London, where I fell pregnant.
Thomas and I have now been together for three-and-a-half years and live with our son, Laker, in Wellington and London.”
The Escape Haven spa and yoga retreat founder met finance manager Trent in 2015. They’re now engaged and raising their daughter, Indii, in New Zealand and Bali.
“I’d heard a lot about Trent from various friends, but I didn’t realise that our worlds had been intertwined for 20 years.
From being in the same university classes, to working across the road from each other in London, to being a client of his agency and dealing daily with the person he sat next to…his photo was even passed around at my 40th birthday party with the suggestion he was an “eligible single”! It’s surprising we didn’t meet sooner, but I guess that’s what they mean when they say it’s all about timing.
One balmy evening as I entered Non Solo Pizza in Auckland’s Parnell, wobbling a little in my heels, I spied a tall, dashing stranger — and promptly tripped over the bar mat and into his arms, horrifyingly kissing his ear on the way down.
I spent the rest of the night laughing like a hyena at his jokes and flicking my hair — neither of which I’ve done since.
Four months later we were living together in Bali, six months on we got engaged, and then on Christmas Day came the best news possible: that I was pregnant. We now live with our daughter in Canggu in Bali and on our boat, which we sail around the islands of New Zealand while remotely running our Bali-based women’s retreat, Escape Haven.
This article originally appeared in Fashion Quarterly Issue 2 2017.