She’s currently embedded deep in the fashion and sporting worlds (more on that later), but Terumi studied neuroscience in college, and even wrote a paper about the “flow” state.
“It’s a psychological state where you feel in perfect synchrony with your environment. You're in deep focus, and all the other worries and challenges or stresses that might exist in the rest of your reality don't really exist in that moment because you're in this hyper-focused, fairly happy state.”
I first came to know of Terumi from the Allure magazine article in which she talked about how her role as a model had changed after Covid-19 restrictions came into place.
Our video call opened with her drinking from the “wrong matcha bowl” and jesting that she would be admonished by her mother for that oversight. It provided the perfect backdrop for us to chat about her childhood growing up in Palo Alto as one of 3 kids in a Japanese-American home. I was later also offered a glimpse of that precious October 24, 1997 drawing by Terumi: an inventory of every single item in her wardrobe.
A stylist and model, Terumi is equally at ease with a surfboard, climbing ropes, or a set of skis. She’s managed to combine fashion and the outdoors in handy ways: Terumi often models for sporting brands like Oakley and Athleta. Terumi also passionately describes her involvement with Laru Beya Collective, a grassroots organisation empowering underrepresented youth in the Far Rockaways through surfing.
We chat about coming into fashion via a background in neuroscience, a sojourn in hospitality, and a stint in marketing. I learn about her how she's conditioned herself to be vocal for what she wants—and to tell herself that she's good at what she does. The story so far: a splendid combination of rocks (of all kinds), clothes (100% secondhand), and the healing power of community.
All pictures courtesy of Terumi Murao's Instagram, unless otherwise indicated.