The First Time We Didn’t Meet

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All clothes by BENCH I All shoes & accessories by ALDO
Photography by Arabella Paner
Makeup by Ina de Guzman
Modeled by Rez Toledo & Elena Ortega
Words by Marga Buenaventura
Styled & produced by Ina Jacobe

In a city so small, it’s a wonder how we can still overlook the one thing we’re looking for. In this B/BLOG story of missed connections, rising model Elena Ortega and musical dynamo Rez Toledo (the artist formerly known as Somedaydream) play ideal mates who just barely intersect.

Amid the distraction of technology and the hustle of urban life, closeness doesn’t always translate to connection. It isn’t until the cupid of chance steps in that the pair finally get to act on their attraction. It’s one thing to find the one you’re looking for, but another to realize that they were looking for you too.

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The boy was hunched over his phone, which was why she was able to see how his hair curled just above the edges of his gray cardigan.








He found it. The scent that he could not shake off. Newly washed laundry and an inexplicable whiff of cotton—he found it again in his building’s elevator, the same place he discovered the curious scent before. And when he looked up from his phone, there it was. There she was. 


BENCH BEATS - Luigi D'Avola
Outtakes from "Into the Blue," Benchmark September Issue