Sara Hiromi is a talented NYC-based creative who spends her free time modeling and executing art-driven projects. Here, we find out more about the girl behind the art.
Photos by Amber Mahoney
Hi Sara! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where do you live? What do you do?
Hey there! I just graduated from the University of Houston in Texas last spring and moved to NYC in August. I’m kinda floating at the moment; modeling is my main gig but just until I finish my portfolio of school work so I can start applying for firm jobs. To say I live in NYC isn’t even fully true. I rent month to month and I like this city, but I’m not sure if I want to make it my permanent home yet. I’ve got my eye on some other places.
What's your favorite thing about living in NYC?
This is probably just 'cause I’m new here, but there is just so much to see and explore, and I’m never bored or uninspired. This week I’ve been checking out all the different bookstores, Asian grocery markets, and o-sake bars; the variety of stuff they all hold is unlike anything I could find back home.
Above: BDG Girlfriend High-Rise Jean
Above: Out From Under Neve Sheer Slip
What's a typical day like for you?
Usually I’ll wake up pretty early and make breakfast. I never skip that, and it’s actually my favorite part of the day, haha. Then I’ll go work on my portfolio or answer emails at a coffee shop for a few hours, and from there it depends on what I’ve got going on that day. Recently I’ve been working almost every day, so I’ll jump on a train and go to whatever shoot I have which usually last anywhere from 3 to like 8 hours. But if I have the day off I’ll go do something touristy like check out a new park or take the Staten Island Ferry. I don’t like being idle. Almost every evening I’ll go walk around the streets of Manhattan and people watch until I get tired.
What did you study in college? What first drew you to study that?
I studied Interior Architecture in school. My school's program focused mostly on adaptive reuse of buildings, but I enjoy research more than anything though. Doing something like experience design would be ideal. In high school I was in the STEM academy, did ceramics, and was co-president of Students for Social Justice. Those were the things I loved the most at least and if possible I wanted to do something that combined all three. Like a week before college applications were due I still had no idea what I wanted to major in until I was talking to some friends about it and they recommended architecture. I applied for it at one school, got in, and it turned out to be a pretty good fit for me.
We saw this photo on your IG and were curious to know more – can you tell us a little bit about this project?
This was a class design build project I worked on during my junior year in school called Inside/Out. We were given a decaying shotgun house in the 5th ward of Houston, Texas and asked to turn it into an e-book store where kids could come read/do homework after school. The building was on the verge of falling over from neglect, so the priority of the design became to create an interesting installation that worked to support the shell of the building from the inside so as not to disturb the historical appearance of the outside, hence the name. Not many students get to say they are both published and built by the time they graduate, so it was really an amazing experience.
You can read more about it… and donate to its final installation here.
What's been one of your favorite accomplishments in the past year? What's something you're looking forward to?
Graduating from University this last spring. I didn’t think I’d feel any different after graduating, but I was so wrong. It took me two major changes (I started in Architecture, switched to Industrial Design, then decided Interior Architecture was more my scale and changed to that all in my first year). School was hard for me. There was never a semester that just flew by, so when that paper came in the mail I cried and showed it off to everyone, haha.
As far as what I’m looking forward to, I can’t wait to see what the next week is gonna be like! In the fashion industry, especially for models, plans can change overnight; you tend to get notice of jobs just a week or two (sometime even only a day) in advance and up until a shoot is actually happening, you never know if things are really gonna work out or not. At least that’s been my experience. Modeling aside I can’t wait to finally finish my architecture portfolio and start the job hunt. I’ve been taking my time because to start, I’m a perfectionist, but also when I start working in that field again I know I won’t have as much time for modeling. I’ve been modeling for over four and a half years, and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon, but balancing them equally is proving to be a challenge.
We love your style! How would you describe your personal style?
My style is very much a product of my environment and heritage. When people ask about my background I joke I’m part Japanese and part Texas. I grew up with cattle posters on the walls and kokeshi dolls on my shelves, and it reflects in my personal style. I love me a good pair of jeans and a bolo tie, but am also attracted to deep indigo colors and bright patterns, like those I saw on my grandmother’s teapot collection.
Are there any clothing items you're constantly on the look for? Any "holy grail" vintage item?
Always looking for good vintage jumpsuits and western style booties, both are hard to find, at least in my price range and size. I found a jumpsuit at my favorite vintage store in Austin, Charm School Vintage, with a huge Texas mural on the back of it just before I moved and actually squealed with happiness.
What trend for fall are you most excited about?
I’m a jacket person, I have a kinda redic collection of light sweaters and coats so I can’t wait to break those out. I know bomber jackets are in right now, which I’ve been collecting for years so I’ll probably be lovin’ on those a bit more than usual this fall.
Tell us one thing people may not realize about you (something you're interested in, a talent, etc.).
I live for road trips, even if they are just small day trip to neighboring towns. In Texas I’d get out of the city at least once a month to go hiking, swimming or camping. The ones where I get to be out for a week or more are the best though; my friends and I will just make loose plans and stop wherever we think interesting or inspiring. I actually like being on both side of the camera, so it’s during those trip when I’m able to express myself the most. If I stay in NY I’m gonna have to bring my car up here.
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