Meet Two Childhood Gal Pals Who Make a Compelling Case for #NoNewFriends

Growing up in the countryside of Holland, 19-year-old model Luna Bijl spent a lot of time outdoors. Whether she was riding her bike to school or playing sports (she’s a motocross enthusiast) her average day definitely didn’t include flashbulbs and fashion. Now that it does, a lot has changed: Bijl travels all year round, works out in fancy city studios, and vacations like a celebrity. But just because her environment has transformed, that doesn’t mean she herself has. In fact, if you ask her childhood best friend, Kim van der Maas, she hasn’t changed one bit.

Even though van der Maas and Bijl don’t get to see each other every day as they did growing up, they still make their friendship a priority. They keep in touch via social media and text, and when they’re in the same place, they spend lots of QT catching up. Knowing Bijl was gearing up for another season of runway shows, we reunited the pair at the Express studios to test drive our new denim collection. It was a fit—and loads of fun too.Ten Years, Still Going Strong

“I would describe Kim as a very happy person, like I never see her in a bad mood. She’s kind to everyone and has a really good heart. And she’s very funny. We’ve been friends for ten years and we’ve never had a real fight.”

“Our friendship is only becoming better, and we only have more fun as the years go on. We know everything about each other—from boys to actual problems.”

Virtual Realities

“When I started modeling I lost a lot of friends because I wasn’t there anymore, and I missed a lot of things, but Kim and I have become only stronger because we keep in touch on FaceTime, Whatsapp, or social media. And when I am home we pick up where we left off. We still go to parties or just hang out on the couch. Nothing has changed.”

Quality Time

“Luna is a very cheerful person. She always does things for her friends first before thinking about herself. She’s very easy to talk to and she really listens. She always has good advice. Well, she has advice. I don’t know if it’s always good, but she always tries.”

“Luna isn’t overly girly with her style. She doesn’t tend to wear dresses or skirts. But her clothes always fit well and are comfy at the same time.”

Childhood Memories

“When we were little we would bike to school, it was an hour and a half both ways,” says [TK]. “We spent a lot of time together that way, just having fun, stopping for food, occasionally getting flat tires. Now I have a driver’s license, so we drive when we’re at home. No more biking. But the memories are priceless.”Luna’s Must-Have

“I like jeans that aren’t too stiff and have stretch. If you’re comfortable in your jeans, you actually look good as well. My trick is to bend when I’m trying them on so I know If I can still move comfortably!

Kim’s Must-Have

“I have curves, so I love high-waisted skinny jeans. They flatter your stomach and let you move around at the same time. I know that I click with a pair of jeans when I have a ‘wow’ moment the first second try them on.

SHOP: Super High Waisted Black Denim Perfect Ankle Jean Leggings, Mid Rise Denim Mini Skirt, Mid Rise Side Stripe Ripped Stretch Cropped Jean Leggings