TBT: Lenny Kravitz and Vanessa Paradis Were the Most Fashionable Couple of the '90s

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Lenny Kravitz & Vanessa Paradis
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Who: Four-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Lenny Kravitz, 58, and French singer, model, and actress Vanessa Paradis, 49.

How They Met: Back in 1991, Vanessa — who had just separated from her boyfriend, singer-songwriter Florent Pagny — was looking for someone to produce her first album in English, and she specifically sought out Lenny for the project. That summer, the pair met and had dinner together at George V in Paris to discuss details.

"I've never been afraid to suggest things or to be told no. Music is an area where I was able to make things happen," Paradis previously told French magazine Le Figaro in 2019 about her go-getter initiative. "Gainsbourg did not come to me, I asked him. Kravitz, it was the same." According to the biography Vanessa Paradis: The Real Story by Hugues Royer, her persistence won Lenny over, and he invited Vanessa back to New York City so they could work together.

Lenny Kravitz & Vanessa Paradis
Getty Images

The next year, her third studio album Vanessa Paradis was released, and during its promotion, Kravitz gushed about their collaboration. "I think Vanessa is a very intense young lady. I think she's extremely talented," he said. "I learned a lot about producing, working with an artist, but this music was really, really tailored for her. I tried to get inside of her mind. I spent a lot of time with her to see what she was thinking, what she was feeling." On the album, the couple recorded a duet together titled "Silver and Gold."

Why We Loved Them: They were one of the most fashionable couples in the '90s. Before the Biebers, Kravis, and Megan Fox and MGK stepped out in matching outfits, Lenny and Vanessa were already dressing alike. They basically invented the concept of coordinated couple looks without even trying. Over the course of their five-year relationship, the pair were constantly being snapped by the paparazzi — whether on the sidewalks of Manhattan or front row each year during Paris Fashion Week.

When They Peaked: Their best-dressed couple moment, however, occurred at the Vivienne Westwood Spring/Summer 1995 show in Paris. From the tiny sunglasses to his-and-hers necklaces and twinning hairstyles, everything about their collective look was a total vibe. And a cool one at that. Something about Vanessa's effortless French style paired with the swagger of Lenny's rock 'n' roll aesthetic just worked.

Lenny Kravitz & Vanessa Paradis
Getty Images

The Breakup: After five years together, Kravitz and Paradis called it quits in 1997. It was unknown why they broke up at the time, but more than a decade later, Lenny finally revealed why it didn't work out between them while speaking to Paris Match in 2009.

"I was madly in love with her. Vanessa was the perfect woman, but she came at the wrong time," he explained, adding that he was the one who introduced her to Johnny Depp. Vanessa, of course, went on to date Depp for 14 years, from 1998 to 2012, and the pair share two children together — Lily-Rose, 23, and Jack, 20.

Kravitz continued, "I have never seen her since. She did not come to my concerts; we did not have any more contact. I can only wish her happiness. But I am not worried. I know that one day we will run into each other. And it will be time to talk about all this."

It appears as if that day has already come and gone, as Kravitz and Paradis are seemingly on good terms. Just two years ago, Kravitz even wished Paradis a happy 48th birthday on Instagram with an iconic '90s throwback couple photo.

Lenny Kravitz & Vanessa Paradis
Getty Images

Where They Are Now: ​​Kravitz is single and has been for a while. His last serious relationship was four years ago, in late 2017, with Brazilian model Barbara Fialho, and the pair broke up after dating for six months.

Aside from his music career, Lenny has starred in several major films — including The Hunger Games, Precious, and Lee Daniels' The Butler. Next up, he will make an appearance alongside Jennifer Lopez in the action-comedy Shotgun Wedding this month.

After splitting from Johnny Depp in 2012, Vanessa met her husband, director Samuel Benchetrit, while they worked together on the set of the film Chien. The two tied the knot in 2018 in France, and they currently split their time between Los Angeles and Paris.

Vanessa's last album Les Sources was released in 2018, and the following year, she debuted a "Best Of" record, featuring hits like "Joe le taxi" and "Be My Baby." Her acting career is also very much still active, and she won Best Actress for her role in Knife + Heart at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival in 2018.

#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.

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