Solemates | Tyna and Justin


Justin and Tyna’s relationship is the most “small world” miracle I’ve ever witnessed. I met Justin working as a menswear editor during NYFW and had known Tyna in my past life from styling a vintage show in Austin, TX. Through the power of Instagram, the two caught each other’s attention across the country and alerted me of their budding romance. Two years later, in Justin’s current (and Tyna’s future) home in Harlem, we sat down with the stylish couple to set things straight about how they really met, their first date and what they love most about one another.

Photos by Kelsey Rose


Name: Tyna Hoang, 27
Location: I live in Austin, TX, but i’ll be moving here (NYC) soon!
Occupation: Food Stylist

Name: Justin Bridges, 30
Location: NYC
Occupation: Fashion Portraiture Photographer

How did you two meet?
T: We were introduced by a mutual friend in Austin over a year ago.
J: The real story is that... we have a mutual friend and I had found her on his Instagram, so I followed her because I liked her pictures. When I went to Austin, I figured she already had a boyfriend but my friend was like, “hey, we should go to Tyna’s hotel where she works and get a drink or something.” We go there, he introduces us and we both knew who each other were because of Instagram... and pretended like we had no clue.
T: I said “I think you follow me on Instagram” and you were like “Yeah, I think you follow me too.” *Laughs*
J: From that day, we exchanged numbers and hung out the rest of the week. I hung out with her more than my friends that week. And then I went to Thailand and we kept talking.

What was your first impression of Justin?
T: I thought he was really cool...probably way too cool for me. He was extremely ambitious.

What was your first impression of Tyna?
J: That she was quiet. I didn’t get much to talk to her (much the) first day.. so first impression– this chick has style and tattoos, which a bonus. I love tattoos.

What about your first Instagram impression of each other?
T: The same– super creative, ambitious and outgoing.
J: Cute, stylish.

What did you guys do on your first date?
J: We went to this restaurant called Josephine House. This is when I learned she was so nice because she brought me a book as a gift.
T: (Justin) was traveling and didn’t have a book to travel with.
J: I was going to Thailand.
T: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by (Haruki) Murakami

Describe your most ideal date?
J: A lot of laughter.
T: I like going on drives.

How long have you guys been together?
J + T: A year and three days.

Was it love or lust at first site?
T: Considering I was against the whole thing, It wasn’t at first site.
J: It wasn’t love at first site for her, but it was love at first site for me (otherwise).. I wouldn’t have been so adamant about it. Long distance wasn’t ideal… *Laughs*. I don’t know how much I believe in love at first site but I knew that I was serious…at first site.
T: Seriously pursuing at first site.

What do you love most about Tyna?
J: How kind she is, because I don’t have that bone in my body…not as kind as she is. It’s almost altruistic. (She’s) outwardly so, and it’s nice to watch how nice (she is) and how thoughtful (she is).

What do you love most about Justin?
T: For one, (he’s) always pushing me to greater heights.

What would you describe your couple style as?
J + T: Minimal.

Finish the sentence: Love is _________
J: Complexity simplified.
T: What he said.

Describe your relationship in 3 emojis:
T: The airplane, The fork and knife, the two dancing girls *but if one was wearing pants*

What celeb couple would you wanna double date with?
T: Can it just be Jeff Goldblum and whoever he’s with?


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