Gigi Hadid is opening up about meeting boyfriend Zayn Malik for the first time, revealing to Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she and Malik established a connection “really quickly” and bonded over their mutual admiration for YouTube star Noah Ritter.
“We actually met at a friend’s birthday party a few years ago and then he was in New York to come to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last year I think,” Gigi Hadid began when asked about how she and Zayn Malik first met. “[He] ended up not coming. I was like, ‘I’ll play it cool, I’ll go to the afterparty….,’ he wasn’t there *laughs*. [But] later that week, we ended up going on our first date.”
When asked if Zayn Malik attempted to “play it cool” when they finally got to meet for the first time, Gigi explains, “We played it cool for like, ten minutes, when I was like, ‘You’re really cute.’ [But] we connected really quickly.”
Hadid further notes that her and Zayn’s “quick connection” was also thanks to their mutual fascination with YouTube star Noah Ritter, revealing that they continued to bond over sharing Ritter’s humorous videos with one another during the early stages of their relationship.
“We have the same kind of sense of humor and started sharing videos,” Hadid explained of the viral YouTube star’s videos.
During her interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Gigi further gushed over her ability to now cross an appearance on Ellen’s show off of her bucket list, admitting to the daytime talk show host, “When I moved to New York I wanted to have a Vogue cover, I wanted to be on the Food Network, and I wanted to be on Ellen. And I’m on Ellen!”
Speaking on her growing number of Vogue cover appearances, which currently stands at 20 after announcing that she had made the cover of the magazine’s 125-year anniversary issue, Hadid dishes on whether or not she believes she’ll break model Lauren Hutton’s record of 26 Vogue covers in her career.
“I love Lauren [Hutton] I can’t beat her in any way but…I wouldn’t complain [if I did get 27],” Gigi laughed.
While Gigi Hadid may have tried to “play it cool” when meeting boyfriend Zayn Malik for the first time in 2015, the former One Direction singer recently had to come to his girlfriend’s defense earlier this week after Gigi was accused of being racist towards those of Asian descent in a Snapchat video shared by her sister, Bella Hadid.
In the video, which has since been deleted, Gigi can be seen holding a Buddha-shaped cookie up to her face before squinting her eyes and smiling at the camera, Billboard reports.
— z (@zainzayns) February 5, 2017
While Gigi neglected to comment on the backlash surrounding the video, Malik, who is of Southwest-Asian descent, came to Hadid’s defense on Twitter by reassuring fans that Gigi “likes Asians.”
Hadid faced similar criticism last year after she mistakenly referred to boyfriend Zayn Malik as “half-Middle Eastern” during an interview with Gulf News, telling the publication that it’s’ “beautiful” to be able to establish a connection with people that share the same heritage.
“I especially love it when you meet other Arabs,” Hadid began.
“There’s such a sense of family regardless of whether you are blood-related or not anywhere in the world.”
Gigi continued by explaining that people often come up to her and reveal that they also share Palestinian roots, noting, “and we make a connection, it’s beautiful.”
“My boyfriend is also half-Middle Eastern,” Hadid revealed of Zayn Malik.
“It’s just a connection that you make that’s really cool. It’s hard to explain, but you feel like you’re amongst [your] people.”
While the publication was quick to point out that Zayn Malik is half-Pakistani and half-British and that Pakistan is a South Asian country and not a Middle Eastern one, fans were quick to criticize Hadid for mistaking boyfriend Zayn’s ethnicity.
lmao gigi hadid really said zayn was middle eastern???? how are you dating someone and you don’t even know their ethnicity/race?
— ✍???? (@paradisel0vexo) October 11, 2016
I guess like @GiGiHadid I just learned Pakistan isn’t considered the Middle East.
— Branden Lee (@Brandeness) October 12, 2016
@GiGiHadid just to let you know Zayn is Pakistani, which is in South Asia. Just in case you didn’t read his profile properly before signing
— ZADDY | khadija (@malik_trash) October 12, 2016
What do you think of Gigi Hadid’s comments about meeting Zayn Malik for the first time?
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]