Artist / Izumi Shirahama (Loveli)
Why is it so hard to just be yourself?
With society becoming more and more diverse, there are fewer opportunities for individuals to think about their own multifacetedness. Just as light changes how jewelry shines, humans also show different sides of themselves when they are under the spotlight.
“Loveli” has been modeling for 12 years since she was 18 years old and is currently also involved in other expressive activities under the name "Izumi Shirahama". As time passed, she felt she had hit a wall as “Loveli” and wanted to begin working as an expressionist where she started with the desire to use her words with honesty. So her words are not unclear, and she shines a warm light on the hearts of many.
ARTIDA OUD is currently offering a special line of jewelry for the second time after its brand launch in preparation for the Christmas season. The main colors used are aesthetic, such as crimson ruby and glossy pearls, red and white and honey. With the addition of angel wing motifs, this lineup is full of Christmas euphoria.
In collaboration with Izumi Shirahama, we created a photo shoot shining light on her gorgeous sparkle, beautiful chic and calm expressions. On November 27th, she turned 30 and announced that she was getting married. We took some time to ask her about her past, present, and future.
The separation between Loveli and Shirahama Izumi, inside and outside
―――In addition modeling as “Loveli,” you have been expressing yourself under your real name “Izumi Shirahama.” How did you come to use the two names?
I wanted to separate the inside me and the outside me. As a Loveli, I was involved in “entertainment” and felt frustrated that I couldn’t use my words to express myself. When I did work in a magazine or on TV, I felt that there were surprisingly few opportunities to communicate my thoughts. Even when I was able to say what I thought, I felt like there was a filter on my words, and so I didn’t want to forget who I was and wanted to be able to convey my true feelings.
―――So, under your real name Shirahama Izumi, you began to use SNS to convey your true feelings.
Yes, when SNS started to gain popularity, I was looking for ways to use it to my advantage. At first, I wanted to use it as a way to confirm my own feelings and individuality, and often tried to put a spin on the words I used. But now, those words have been able to touch others and now belong to the world. All of the words I use are my own without a filter, but I try to make it so others in the world can use those words as their own.
―――What do the two names mean in you?
Loveli is who I am on the outside, the superficial me that can be used by people. For example, I feel joy when I am able to meet a client's request, but Izumi Shirahama is who I am on the inside. Who I am on the inside is the “me” that can protect my real feelings.
In fact, after I started using my words, I began to feel the limitations of what I could say under the name Loveli. As Loveli, I often sends out messages to the world, but I have to be careful and pay close attention to what I say and how I convey my thoughts. As Izumi Shirahama, I can freely express what I want to without feeling that kind of restriction.
That being said, there are some things that I can only convey as Loveli. For example, as Loveli, I can use my platform to reach teenagers who are usually not tuned in to the details surrounding news in society. I think that I am able to use both in a well-balanced manner.
―――Your spin on words do not come across as being pushy or synchronized, and there is a comfortable, kind feel to them. How do you make them?
I'm not always right, but I'd like to say things like "this is my opinion, what do you think?" I don't want to say too much because I want to be on a par with as many people as possible. I hold back but not completely, and try to put out messages that will touch the heart. If I didn’t, the color of the words would not be seen as I see them, and wouldn’t have the desired effect.
―――Words are colorful? There are people who see words as colors.
I can't see color, but I feel color. Perhaps I don’t see words as words, but as visual images. So when I create my work, I see a visual image in my head. Also, I value rhythm and atmosphere. I feel like I'm always looking for that moment when the text is just right.
Difficult situations should be seen from the perspective other people, that’s the axis
―――I'm often impressed with the relationship between you and society, but are there any ideas you want to convey to others in the future?
I want to widen the entrance so that people who are touched by my expressions can become more interested in society and the things around them. I think it's up to the individual as to if they become interested in something. The challenge of saying things that seem difficult, but are actually not, is not easy to communicate. For example, I want to create small opportunities in various forms, such as fashion, art, and SNS. You don't have to be able to see the goal, but to start, if you want to make the world a part of yourself, it starts with the axis of your activities.
―――I feel there is a close connection between you and ARTIDA OUD’s “I am” Donation Project. This is a donation project where we make a donation of up to 1,100 yen to women in developing countries when a set of colored stones and a tattoo sticker is purchased. Thank you very much for your support.
I mentioned this earlier, but I think it is hard to convey difficult things casually and because this is similar to my feelings, I support this project. Rather than asking someone to "donate" or trying to get someone to listen to you about something that is hard to ask for, I think it's nice to be able to purchase something cute to wear and at the same time be able to give to those who in need. I will continue to support this project.
I would rather find something that suits me than to just be fashionable
―――You have gained support from women as a fashion icon. What do you consider fashionable?
When I was in my early 20s, I didn't know what would suit me. I was trying different colors and shapes, etc. But rather than focusing on being fashionable, I wanted to find something that suited me. After I was able understand my style in my mid-20s, I set my own theme. I choose my clothes based on the following criteria: "will I still wear this when I am 30?”, and “will I still like this when I am 30?” Now that I'm in my thirties, I think my style is really refreshing.
―――Let’s talk about jewelry
Jewelry is the closest thing to skin. I like clear and chic colors, and my favorite piece right now is the Keshi Pearl, Citrine, and White Opal ring. It feels like a little gem protecting my fingertips.
My grandmother is someone who likes to stacks rings and has a lot of vintage jewelry. When I was little, I often thought how fashionable she was! Jewelry always shines. It is wonderful that you can pass it on or share it with your family.
―――This time, we asked you to wear the ARTIDA OUD Christmas jewelry. Please tell us about your Christmas memories.
Christmas is a time when families gather and is a very warming time. We are Christian, so we all went to church all together every Christmas. As a family, we also took trips to the amusement park or went shopping for sukiyaki ingredients. My grandmother runs a restaurant that serves traditional Hokkaido food so on Christmas we would eat Crab in a hot pot or sea urchin over rice (laughs).
To this day, I still like to give gifts, and for the people I see on Christmas, I always try to find something that I think would look good on that person.
I believed in who I would be in the future, and made it a reality at 30 years old
―――The theme of ARTIDA OUD is "raw beauty, the natural beauty of women, without decoration." What is your definition of "raw beauty"?
I think natural beauty is, and means not being dressed up, and that is what I aspire to be. Sometimes I wear clothes that match my age, and avoid wearing too much makeup.
―――In that sense, is there a woman that you think is beautiful?
My mother. Since I was a child, I have never lied or deceived, and the reason for that was simple: "I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to do that" and "I went there because I wanted to go there." I love the fact that I love being with my dad too.
I really enjoyed myself and think that she is the ideal mother or the ideal person.
Feeling free to move, with no restrictions. The fact that I started working under my real name of Izumi Shirahama was also due to influence from my mother.
―――“The natural beauty of a woman” also includes inner beauty. Please tell me us of any words, books, movies, etc. that you think made you who you are today.
I have a grandmother in Japan and a grandmother in the Philippines, and they are both people who value language. I used to write all over the walls in the house (laughs). When I was young, I remember reading the phrases "Always be humble," and "The more polite, the better". I didn't understand the meaning at that time, but now that I am an adult, I understand the importance.
What impressed me was the words from my slightly spiritual Philippine grandmother. She said, "You have eyes on your back. Not only can you see in front of you, but you can also see behind you.” The message behind her words are that I should look 360 degrees around me, and not just what’s in front of me, and to have a wider view of the world. So it may be because of my grandmother’s influence that I don’t include a goal when I write.
―――You said “I thought there were many alternatives to who I am”. What is the driving force that keeps things moving behind “Izumi Shirahama” the one and only “Loveli”?
The power of believing in the future me.
When working as a Loveli, I looked at myself objectively from a very far distance. Since I was a teenager, I always thought that there are so many cute, beautiful people in the world. I started searching my soul for what was unique about me, and found myself little by little.
―――Now that you're 30 years old, do you think you're in a place where you once thought you wanted to be?
Yes. I was planning what to do when I turned 30 from the age of 25. Write your goals down about where you want to be in life in three or five years in a notebook, then take action to make it a reality at every opportunity. It’s not that I was impatient, but I felt I was being suffocated being Loveli. Now, considering the shape and breadth of communication, I'm glad I didn’t give up on being Loveli.
―――Please send a message to all of the hard working women in the world!
There may be times that you are worried about things, but I think it's important to choose your own actions. Don't end the problem as a problem. I think it's important to think realistically and make the right choices for yourself. For example, being comfortable in your present situation is good if it is the result you desire. It's not just about changing something or throwing something away.
And life is long. I don't think I will remember most of the troubles I have in life when I become a grandmother. So don't think too much about a problem, and start thinking about the time you have left on earth. Think about what is “a good choice for you”.
And I hope that good luck charm will
Izumi Shirahama (Loveli)
Born in 1989. Since the age of 18, she has been active in magazines, television, radio and advertising as Loveli. In recent years, she has been working under her real name, Izumi Shirahama, to express herself as she is. Her world of poetry, essays, photography, music, jewelry and other forms of expression is opulent and attracts support of young women.