A Stitch in Time, With His Help

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Naomi Ariela Mishkin arrived with plaster falling from her hair when she met Graham Henry Lazar for a drink in May 2014 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It didn’t bother him one bit.

“I love creative people,” Mr. Lazar said. He first met Ms. Mishkin — an artist-turned-fashion designer nicknamed Nomi — the previous fall when she walked into the kitchen of the apartment he shared with one of her friends above a bodega in Fort Greene.

“Nomi asked me for a carrot,” said Mr. Lazar, then a third-grade teacher, who was preparing a giant pot of minestrone soup for the week. Both are 33.

Mr. Lazar is a product designer who leads the creative team at Apply Stickers, which works with contemporary artists, galleries and museum stores. He graduated cum laude from Harvard and received a master’s degree in urban planning from M.I.T.

“Who is this cutie?” Ms. Mishkin, recalled thinking, as Mr. Graham, who recently moved into the apartment, chopped up carrots and celery.

But, Ms. Mishkin, not at all interested in a relationship, was laser-focused on her art practice and managing the studio and fabricating projects for Janine Antoni, a contemporary artist.

She graduated with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design and received a master’s degree with distinction in fine art from the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University. She later received a certificate in innovative pattern cutting from Central Saint Martins in London.

The two continued to cross paths at the apartment. In May, two days after his birthday, he asked her out via text for a drink in Fort Greene.

“I didn’t know it was a date,” Ms. Mishkin said. But there was a telltale sign: “His hair was brushed and his shirt was tucked in,” she said.

At first she panicked, but soon realized she really liked him.

But then: “Maybe it wasn’t a date,” she recalled thinking when the evening ended without a kiss.

Turns out it was merely delayed.

The next evening while at the same party, he asked her to go for a walk, and along a beautiful Fort Greene side street came their first kiss.

Ms. Mishkin, who had never dated a non-artist before, soon brought out the artist in him.

“Nomi is so unafraid of any creative task,” said Mr. Lazar, who eagerly helped her with projects from pouring molds to silk screening. “I started drawing voraciously,” he said. “I went to life drawing classes and design school.”

In September 2016, they began a three-year, long-distance relationship, as each pursued further studies. He encouraged her pivot from art to fashion design. And in 2018, she started Naomi Nomi, a Brooklyn clothing and accessory company, offering Oxford shirts in merino wool or cotton and digitally printed silk scarves.

In the summer of 2019 they moved into an apartment in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. The next year, as the pandemic hit, her company began turning out buy-one-donate-one masks out of ikat cotton and Oxford cloth (about 10,000 in all). The couple also adopted Lady, a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy from Florida.

As Lady ran off-leash in Prospect Park in November 2021, Mr. Lazar proposed.

“When I see one Dalmatian, I know it’s going to be a great day,” said Ms. Mishkin, who saw four that morning just before Mr. Lazar presented his maternal great-grandmother’s Art Deco cocktail ring.

Three and a half weeks before the wedding, Ms. Mishkin began making her two-piece wedding dress — a bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a skirt — out of egg-white, four-ply silk with a Swiss lace-netting overlay. She had taken a cue from her maternal grandparents, once wedding dress manufacturers in the Garment Center.

“We joke that we’re ‘shmatte’ people,” said Mr. Lazar, whose paternal great-grandparents ran a handkerchief business in Ellenville, N.Y.

“I helped with every dart and seam,” he said of the wedding dress. “There was no first look. There was a 10,000th look.”

On July 30, Andrew Sawyer, a friend of the couple who became a Universal Life minister for the occasion, officiated, and led the ceremony with Nasir W. Husain, a close college friend of the groom, at the Brooklyn Grange, an events space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where the couple stood under a huppah covered in fabric picked out by the bride.

“It’s linen in phthalo blue,” she said quite naturally, with another project in mind — turning it into a blanket in time for winter.

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