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Best Friends

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Mengly Hernandez, Stylist, and Naila Ruechel, Photographer

How long have you been friends?
MENGLY: We met five years ago at the Hotel on Rivington at a magazine-launch party. NAILA: She had this big hair and was so beautiful, and I said, “Can I photograph you?”

Did she think you were hitting on her?
NAILA: It’s funny, she might have. She kind of has a standoffish thing, but then I called her up and she realized I was sane. Not that if you’re hitting on someone you’re insane, but you know what I mean. But my motives were as I said they were. MENGLY: I don’t open myself up to people very often. You can’t, because most people are looking for an opportunity.

That sounds somewhat cynical.
MENGLY: You can kind of judge a personality within two hours, you know? What’s the point of dragging it out unless you want something from it? That’s the problem that I have with a lot of people that I encounter. Not everyone, but a lot of people. People want something. If it’s a man, they have their own agenda. NAILA: When I met Mengly, she did have major trust issues. I was just like, “Girl, relax. It’s gonna be all right.” She’s gotten much better, though.

Have you two ever fought?
MENGLY: We have our days. NAILA: We went to Italy together, and the only annoying thing was that she spent what seems like forever in the shower. She spent like 25 minutes in the shower, and I was just like, “Let’s go, there’s all of Rome to see. Come on, enough already!”


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