Couple number three in our new series, #LOVESTORIES with Gucci Beauty is Gia Ford and Mélanie Lehmann. Like many couples conceived in Gen Z, they met on Tinder. Gia was so taken aback with photographer Mélanie’s selfies she thought she might be being “catfished”. Fast forward two years and they now have a working relationship, with Melanie creative directing musician, Gia’s music videos. Her pet name for Mélanie? “Babe.”
LOVE: Tell us your full name and how long you’ve been with your partner
Mélanie Lehmann: I am Melanie Lehmann. Lehmann, like the footballer, like the German goalie from like the 2000s.
LOVE: How long have you guys been together?
ML:Two years. Did she say otherwise? We’ve been together since day one.
LOVE: How did you meet?
ML: So I was on Tinder and I was about to give up on it because I fucking hate it, because of all the like chatting and stuff, and then she super like randomly said, ‘oh let’s go’ but I didn’t know if she wanted a relationship because girls on Tinder are a bit like, ‘oh, let’s be friends’. And I’m like, okay cool. Let’s be friends.
LOVE: What were you looking for?
ML: I was looking for a Die-Hard relationship already. Cuz I was 23 and my parents are pressuring me to have kids. So, we talked on Tinder, like we literally had one conversation
LOVE: Tell me what her profile looked like and why you swiped.
ML: It was like, oh, a picture of like a mirror selfie. And on the back of her phone was her ex-girlfriend and it just said something along the lines of like, I’m a musician. Or like, I make music, and I was like oh she probably is like a grunge girl from Peckham, like, making Grunge music. I didn’t think much of it. But I thought she was really pretty. At first I thought that she could have been mixed. I don’t know why I thought that. I was like, what’s your ethnicity? She’s like white. All right, cool. It was just a very generic Tinder profile. But like pretty girl profile, not like gross boys.
LOVE: Who chatted up who first?
ML: She did. She said something along the lines of, ‘oh my God, you’re so pretty and I love that you are like an intersectional feminist.’ I was like, ‘Ding ding ding ding ding ding!’. Got it, she’s the one. And then I was like, let’s talk on Instagram because I’m about to delete Tinder because it’s stressful. And so we talked on Instagram instead.
LOVE: Tell me your first impression when you saw her walk into wherever you were?
ML: So I was walking out of New Cross Gate station. And then I saw her and she was with like a small luggage, because she was living in Sheffield back then, and she was just here for like, a session. And I was like, holy fuck, this girl is tall. That was my first thought, I was like shit, she’s fucking tall., and then I saw that she was wearing a Dolce Gabbana vest. But like okay, my first two thoughts were like oh shit she’s really tall and then I thought okay it’s freezing cold, midwinter, and she’s wearing a fucking vest. And then we went for dinner.
LOVE: What happened after dinner?
ML: So, at that point, I didn’t have a flat here yet. So I was in like, a BB. And we were watching D.E.B.S, the gay icon movie. And I don’t know, we just cuddled, and snuggled and smoked a shit ton.
LOVE: Who made the first move with the kiss?
ML: I would say me, I think. I turned round and I was like ( mimics a snog noise). Lets Kiss. We got, you know how it is, like when you Netflix and chill and you get a bit distracted. You don’t really want to watch the film. I turned around and I was like okay let’s go.
LOVE: When was the first moment you realized you loved her? Was there a moment?
ML: It was like, so, she stayed in London for like two days. And then she went back to Sheffield for the weekend and that was the moment when I was like, I’m fucking in love with this girl.
LOVE: Who said it first?
ML: Me? I remember asking her to be my girlfriend. That was like over text when she was back in Sheffield and I was like, hey, like I fucking miss you do you want to be my girlfriend.
LOVE: Tell me about some of your favorite attributes of Gia.
ML: Oh she’s quite friendly, like in a way where like anyone can talk to her about anything, at any point. She’s never shy about talking to people or as I’m more like, reserved. If I don’t really give a shit about you, I don’t really talk to you kind of thing, but she’s more like, she has time for people and she’s really really kind, like one of the kindest people I know. And she’s very caring and she’s super talented. Like the first time I heard her voice I was like (makes swooning noise).
LOVE: Is there something, is there one of her personality traits that you wish she had more confidence in?
ML: You know why it’s kind of like even though she’s very friendly and very outgoing, and she talks to a lot of people, and she’s very confident in that area. I think her self doubt kind of bites her in the ass sometimes. And, like, you don’t really see those moments from her because she’s so lively. But like at home, she’ll be a bit more, like, she’ll look into the mirror and she’ll judge herself. And I think like, obviously, we all do that to an extent, but when you really see someone who you love like do that, you just want to like, want that to go away. You don’t see them like they see themselves.
LOVE: Tell me what petty things do you argue about?
ML: The cat. We take care of our friend’s cat. I cuz like, I’m a very anxious person, and he’s such a comfort to me. But I feel like she feels a bit like the cat is taking time away from us. So I don’t know. Like, obviously like, when your partner is so indulged into something like me with the cat, she’ll just think about her music and she’ll just leave me to the cat, and she’ll be doingother shit. And I would just be like, ‘Hello! We need to feed the cat like can you please put your phone down for a second? Like can you stop listening to your music s much. Just fucking feed the cat. Small things like that. To be honest, we’re not really that petty with each other. We’re quite kind.
LOVE: If there was a smell that could sum up Gia what would it be?
ML: Cigarettes? I think it would be cigarettes but like she’s just someone who never smells bad, which is really strange because I’m like, when I sweat, that’s when I start smelling. But she doesn’t sweat. She doesn’t smell. She brushes her teeth like five times a day.
LOVE: What do you think makes you such a good couple?
ML: I think what makes us a good couple is probably that we discuss our problems a lot, and we made sure from day one that we want to grow together, like creatively, professionally, but also in our relationship, in our like politics and stuff. We’re always discussing some kind of topic, even if it’s not a problem, even like the smallest thing like feminism. Well not the smallest thing. But we will be discussing like world problems and try to fix it together. Like the feminism part came like really early on in our relationship. We agreed on that like, since the beginning, but like, for instance, right now we’re trying to be more sustainable. So we’re really working together to make a change and literally we’re not leaving each other behind. Like, if one of us grows, the other one is growingwith us and not really like, Okay, I’ve decided today that I’m a lot smarter than you like, that’s not it, like, for us, it’s more like, we’re a package. This is our life. And we’re just going to keep like improving things together and, like, what makes us really great is that it’s always an improvement. Like, even within ourselves we’re such better people than we were when we like, met first met. And like, I just see us growing.
LOVE: Tell us about when you first met Melanie.
Gia Ford: We had been speaking on Tinder for literally probably less than a week. And she was like, oh I’m coming back from Thailand and will you come and help me with my bags basically. Well no it wasn’t like that, it was like, okay, like, let’s hang out but also two birds with one stone, you know? I felt quite used. I had a writing session and then we met at this Thai restaurant which is literally on the road that we now live on, randomly. Then we went from there to an Airbnb which is where she was staying, we just like chatted all night and the ice was broken.
LOVE: Do you remember your first kiss?
LOVE: Who initiated it?
GF: Maybe even Melanie even though maybe you would suspect that. She was more nervous than me. I’m like less nervous in general with like new people and stuff than she is in life, but I guess she was feeling bold, or whatever. But I put D.E.B.S you know, D.E.B.S movie? It’s like this iconic, like, jokey, lesbian film where they’re agents and they kind of like, but to the villain and like top agent fall in love and I’ve been telling her about it for ages and we did that thing where you know, hand edges. I was just thinking like, gonna get some, but I didn’t, I just got a kiss. We just kissed all night. We didn’t actually do anything else and then the next day we just spent all day together. It was very wholesome.
LOVE: Do you remember her Tinder profile?
GF: Obviously, her photos are really hot, not that she’s not hot. Obviously her photos are amazing and I was like oh my god she’s either like a fake profile, you know? Or Just like really interesting. I remember being like, this is probably a fake profile.
LOVE: Do you remember the first time you realized you loved her?
GF: I actually can’t remember it being a moment. I think it was a prolonged, spread out, series of events.It’s not like one day I was like ah you know what, yeah? I think because I literally thought it would just be this like moment, like, you know, when you’re a teenager, and it’s perfect. There’s like that moment. But it wasn’t like that. I started off loving her and then I loved her more and more, the more we went through, and it’s still like going.
LOVE: Who said it first?
GF: I think she said it. She’ll be like she kissed me. The hand thing, she started it, I had nothing to do with it.
LOVE: Is there an attribute of Mel’s you wish she had more confidence in?
GF: Erm just the fact that like, she’s very special and very talented and like, literally I’ve never seen, and I’ve never A) spent time with anyone as bold and crazy as her but also like, the work is so good and she’s such a hard worker, like her photography. She’s always just like, oh, I don’t know whether I’m shit or like, and so many times I’m like, ‘oh my freaking God, like, of course you’re not shit, you know?’ It’s just a waste. For me it annoys me sometimes because you’re literally wasting, well it’s not a waste of time to not believe in yourself, but it’s like, come on, like of course not. Stop letting it hold you back. So that’s the main thing, definitely.
LOVE: What are your most petty arguments about?
GF: Oh my god like…Yeah, so all of those things that you can imagine they’re about. She’ll have loads. Like washing up and stuff and like, oh this is pretty stupid, but I put the cover on me and we’re watching something on TV, we have a throw, if I put it on me and I don’t think about her, she’s like, hello. And then we have a full-blown argument about that. It just cuts off and it’s stupid and doesn’t matter, and it’s kind of funny. And actually if we’re both in the right mood, and we’re feeling like playful, we’ll just start laughing at it, halfway through the argument. And then it’s over.
LOVE: Have you got any nicknames for her?
GF: I don’t actually call her Melanie and we actually have a joke that if we called each other by our actual names then it would be pretty fucking weird because we’ve never actually done that. We just call each other babe.
LOVE: If there was a smell you would associate with her what would it be?
GF: This is so cute actually as a little anecdote, on the way through the airport when she was coming to London, she bought this perfume because she wanted to smell nice, and like leave a lasting like thing, you know? You know when you meet someone you put perfume on because you’re like, its gonna last with their memory of you? So that, every time she puts it on, which is not very often, I’m transported. So that and the ice blast cigarettes because she brought loads back from Thailand .
LOVE: What makes you such a good couple?
GF: I literally have no fucking clue, but it works.
Film by Robbie Mailer-Howat
Fashion editor Charles Jeffrey
Interview by Harriet Verney
Featuring Gia Ford and Melanie Lehmann
Hair Martin Cullen
Make-up Lucy Bridge
Manicure Adam Slee
All fashion from Gucci Spring/Summer 2020