VALENTINE'S SPECIAL

How We Met

In spirit of finding love this Valentine's Day, we went in search of the most fabulous meet-cute stories. From a tech romance (yes, real, fabulous people do find love on an App) to a professional relationship that turned personal, four of our favorite industry couples reveal all.

THE FASHION COUPLE

Laura Vassar & Kris Brock

Co-Creative Directors of Brock Collection, Laura Vassar and Kris Brock met as fashion students at Parsons in 2010. Now based in L.A., the couple got engaged in 2013 and by 2014 they had officially founded their label, gotten married and had their first son, Charlie.

 

We met at Parsons. Though we had never been in the same class, we knew of each other; I had seen him around and I think—well, he says now of course—that he stalked me too. In our final semester there was this really coveted couture class which I was in. After two weeks or so, someone dropped out and Kris added it to his schedule. He walked into the class super late and—I’ll never forget it—I had butterflies and was like “I know him.” He was wearing this Marc Jacobs argyle cardigan and a beanie. I don’t remember what I was wearing, but I do remember the outfits I wore for the rest of the semester: I chose them very carefully!

 

Towards the end of the semester we ended up working together: he would really help me with my stuff and I would help him with his. I thought we were just friends and then towards the very end of the semester he put flowers in my locker (we shared a locker) and then I was like, “Okay, I get it,” [laughs]. They were yellow daisies.

 

Our first date was on a warm night at the end of summer in New York. I wore a pink silk dress from The Row. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I remember we got there on a motorcycle. I was like, “This is so crazy, I’m not getting on a motorcycle in New York City!” And he was like, “Get on.” [laughs]

 

—Laura Vassar

LAURA'S DATE NIGHT PICKS

THE (SURPRISE) REAL-DEAL

Adam Selman & Mel Ottenberg

The exuberant designer first met super-stylist (to Rihanna, no less) Mel Ottenberg in New York City in 2009. After 6 months, they had their first date. After five years, they moved in together. The couple now live in Greenwich Village and have just celebrated their 9-year anniversary.

 

We actually met on the rooftop of the Chelsea Hotel at my friend’s birthday party. Mel hadn’t been invited. He crashed the party [laughs]—it’s very Mel to do that. We talked for just a few minutes and, basically, I didn’t pick up what he was putting down… I was, like, shy and weird and just sort of ran away from the whole situation, like “Yeah, yeah, alright, see you later.”

 

I was wearing a full denim outfit and had a huge pompadour and a huge mustache. Later on Mel told me, “It was because of your look that I knew I had to meet [you].” He was wearing jeans, combat boots and a mesh tank top with a denim shirt over it: it was a good look. He’s got a big fur rug of chest hair—so that definitely stood out in my mind.

 

After the party we went our separate ways but kept running into each other. One night we were dancing at a club called Greenhouse (at a party that Lady Fag used to host) and he alluded to my friend that he was into me. That time I was wearing a denim outfit that was all ripped up with holes in it, accessorized with bandanas everywhere: boxers, shoes, shirt—I must have had five bandanas around my neck! He was wearing the same combat boots and I said, "I like your boots." We ended up getting together that night and then went on our first date. We went to Julius', the oldest gay bar in the city. It’s still one of our favorite spots.

 

After the first date I was like, "Oh this is going to be fun, he's really adorable and really cute, but this isn’t going to last long... we’re totally opposite people." I thought it would be a short-lived thing. But then we had a summer romance in Montauk and I realized, "This is it." It took us a good six or seven months to get into it—but then it was fireworks.

 

—Adam Selman

ADAM'S HIT SUNGLASSES

THE SLOW BURN

Sarah Hoover & Tom Sachs

Sarah, an art dealer for the Gagosian Gallery, has been married to artist Tom Sachs since 2012. They first met in 2007, started dating in 2009 and got engaged on New Year’s Eve, 2011. In October 2017, the couple had their first child, Guy Sachs.

 

I was working at the Gagosian and he [Tom Sachs] called for my boss. I took the call and immediately—it was so bizarre—I thought, wow, that guy is just so cool.

 

He was like “Oh, you’re new” and we chatted. I knew about his work, but I didn’t know what he looked like or anything. I tried to play it really cool—obviously on my first day of work I wasn’t going to flirt with the artist!

 

Three or four weeks later we met in person at a gallery party uptown. I was like “Oh, I’m So and So's assistant, I think I helped you on the phone". I thought he was so cute and cool but we stayed business friends only. About a year later I was at the Beatrice (the crappiest, dirtiest bar possible—it was awesome) and he was there. It was the first time I had hung out with him outside a work environment. We had the best time and he asked me out.

 

I was like, “Ah, I don’t know how to answer this. Will I get in trouble? It feels kind of weird." But I genuinely liked him, and my job is very social so I was hanging out with him in a lot. Eventually, eight months later, I was like this can’t hurt I’ll go out with him. We went to Balthazar. My husband’s studio is in Soho; and he was there before Balthazar opened. So he took me there because it was a very special place for him; it was his fancy restaurant, you know.

 

He was like “You can order anything you like.” So we ordered the seafood tower and champagne and both got steaks…And then he forgot his wallet.

 

So he goes “I can either go to my studio, which is one block away and we get my wallet, or you can pay now and I’ll pay you back.” I thought he was trying to get me to go home with him or something so I was like “I’m not going up to your studio, I’ll pay for it.” I was not at all in the financial position to be taking two people out to dinner—I was 22! But I paid for dinner. And then he took the leftovers home with him! (Which there were plenty of—we were so nervous and talking all the time, you know when the date is so great and you never touch the food.)

 

I was like “WTF! What a weirdo. I guess we’re not going out again, that took a weird turn.”

 

And the next day I was at my desk telling my friends the whole story. “Oh my god I went on a date with Tom Sachs but it was really weird...” when the front desk buzzed me. He sent over steak sandwiches made from all the leftovers, and he wrapped them in this fake MacDonald’s packaging that he'd had made. I called him and said, “I was questioning you when you took the leftovers but it’s all forgiven. You’re awesome, that was really cool.”

 

And, yes, he paid me back in the end! He snuck the cash into the sandwiches.

 

—Sarah Hoover

SARAH'S DATE NIGHT PICKS

THE TECH ROMANCE

Jessie and Brian deLowe

The cofounder of the wellness brand How You Glow has been married to her hotelier and real estate developer husband for just under three years. The couple met in 2014 and were married in 2016. Their first child, Amelie was born on the summer solstice in June 2017.

 

Brian and I met on the dating app Raya. It hadn’t even officially launched yet; we were some of the first people to join while it was still in beta mode because we were both friendly with the people who started it. We were both very much enjoying the single life at that time and traveling a bunch so, although we matched and started texting immediately, we didn’t go on our first date until weeks later when we were physically in L.A. at the same time.

 

Brian chose a Mexican spot in West Hollywood, near where I lived at the time, called Mercado. He picked me up in an Uber, and the first time I heard his voice was when he called me to say he was outside. He was wearing a slate colored leather jacket and Levi’s. I was wearing tight black high waisted jeans, a little black crop top and probably my Satya Twena hat (basically my uniform at the time). We really hit it off instantly and felt like we had known each other forever. He walked me all the way home (about 45 minutes)—which is unheard of in LA—and we didn’t skip a beat. Believe it or not, from that first date on (ok, maybe second date for me!), we both knew that we had met our soulmate.

 

—Jessie deLowe

 

Interviews by Tatiana Hambro. They have been edited and condensed.

JESSIE'S DATE NIGHT PICKS