If you ask me who are some of my current style inspirations are, the following lady would definitely be somewhere at the top of my list. Natalie Suarez, of the very successful blog NATALIE OFF DUTY, is a Los Angeles native who now calls New York City home. Not only does she run a super rad blog, she’s also become one of the “it girls” in the modelling world. She has been modelling since the age of 15 and has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest publications and designers not only across North America but also around the world! Natalie always looks effortlessly cool in all of her outfit posts. I love her blog because she is also a big foodie and music fan. You may have recently seen her on the show Macy’s Presents: The Next Style Star alongside Whitney Port. Natalie is currently preparing to relaunch her site and has tons of travel plans coming up in the next couple of months. I’m honored to present to you this week, my 5 Questions With Natalie Suarez:
1) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today? (you can provide us with photos if you’d like)
My style has definitely evolved over the years, but honestly, didn’t change toooo drastically! Well, I guess as a VERY young teen, I was a total tomboy with a bit too much bra padding! When I was in high school, I grew to know my style a lot more and dissed the “i want to be grown up” awkward look. I was already modeling and I was OBSESSED with editorials and getting dressed for class. I was already channeling “model off duty” my favorite style haha! I wore a lot of skinny jeans, a lot of vintage button-downs, and vintage wool coats. I shopped mostly at Estate Sales and scoured for incredibly inexpensive designer vintage early in the AM on the weekends. Super minimalistic. Oh, and I loved blazers and wool colorful cardigans, which is extra weird for a teen. Then again, I was still All-American. I wore tons of denim. Denim jackets, plaid, and shorts and mini skirts. I’m a true California girl and so I stuck with my basics, and grew a bit more edgy as I got older. But I think overtime my style has become more daring and eclectic. Now I’m all about the leather jackets, and interesting detailed dresses, and statement accessories. And of course, I own more boots now than ever before. I went from combat boots as a teen, to more sleeker, pointed toe shoes. I guess my style became a bit crazier yet still a bit more put-together! It’s got that bohemian element, but I try to be a bit more sophisticated!
2) Who are your style icons?
I love everyone from Patti Smith to Jane Birkin to Jimi Hendrix. I’m all about old school classic rock n’ roll. The hats, the chained belts, and mixing of textures. I pay a lot of attention to the little details in my looks.
3) Through modelling and blogging, you’ve been able to do all sorts of rad things. What are some of the moments that stand out the most thus far in your career?
With modelling, and blogging, I definitely have tons of memories, and photographs to look back upon. It’s kind of insane. But mostly, my favorite moments are when I’m traveling, and I LOVE LOVE my job and I love working…so all the memories that come with traveling and working are my favorites. I get to discover new places and meet new people. That’s the best part of my job. Also, as a model who’s so used to being in front of the camera, it’s now amazing that I get to work a bit behind the scenes as well with brands through my blog. In designing shoes with my boyfriend at Modern Vice (that feeling of building a brand and putting it on the next level is such a rewarding feeling), to recording music for DKNY Fragrances. Music is my other passion and I feel there’s more to come in my future. With NATALIE OFF DUTY, I’ve been able to travel to all sorts of places for work and fashion week. My favorites have to be Israel, Morocco, London, and Paris! I feel like I’ve done quite a lot in such a short time, that I’m always wondering what I’m going to do next! But I’m always surprised everyday with what’s put into my schedule.
4) For those who don’t know, you are also a big foodie. Could you tell us what your go-to restaurant in NYC is at the moment?
Yesss, I LOVE food and trying new restaurants mostly because my mother was an incredible cook. My mother is Chinese (from Malaysia) and my Dad is Spanish (from Los Angeles). She’d cook us meals at home ranging from spicy curry laksa soup to shredded chicken mole. My go-to NYC restaurant at the moment would have to be BALADE. It’s in the East Village, and it’s Mediterranean…a food I didn’t really grow up with, but my boyfriend’s got me hooked to it.
5) You were recently down at Coachella and seem to be a big music fan. Who are some of your favorite artists?
Festival season is one of my favorites. But normally, it makes my schedule extra hectic, since I’m basically at shows from day to night without any sleep! I love all types of music. I love new California rock n’ roll from bands like Gardens & Villa and the Allah-Las. Then, I love that Nashville vibe behind the new band, Clear Plastic Masks. Of course, my all time favorites are: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and The National. For dancing, I always go with Michael Jackson or Iggy Azalea. See? I like everything.
Wishing you all the best Natalie!