Modeling since the age of 15, Natalie Lim Suarez has been a notable figure in the fashion industry for years. Based in NYC, she is 1/2 Chinese, 1/4 Spanish, and 1/4 Mexican. With her passion for photography, creative direction, design, music, writing, modeling, and style, NATALIE OFF DUTY was born. Completely inspired by the "model off duty" on-the-go lifestyle. Sharing her stories, inspirations, and projects through her own photography and writing. Already noted for her winning fans in Harper's Bazaar UK, featured editorials in ELLE, and WWD for her "Good Taste." Along with campaigns and ambassadorships to top fashion and beauty brands from around the world. Some including COACH, DKNY, L'oreal Paris, Saks 5th Avenue, Sunglass Hut, Levis, and Nordstrom. Her eclectic, unique style has launched many successful design collaborations sold in top retailers around the world. Next to fashion, Natalie's other passion is music. Singing along with piano/guitar continue to pop up in her upcoming fashion campaigns.
I know what you’re all thinking: This wetsuit is sick. I took this baby out for a chilled surf session out in Ditch Plains, Montauk with Cynthia Rowleyand the team. She really does some of the most insane prints. I admire her love for color and graphic prints with a 70’s inspired touch. The team and I grabbed our glamorous surf gear and though we were hit with gloom and rain, it didn’t stop us from diving for the waves anyway. I’ve been super jet lagged after Singapore so this cold rush from the water really woke up my body and made me feel alive again. I can always count on surfing and swimming in the ocean to suddenly jump start me. My love for the sport began back home in California. Surf and skate culture were a huge part of my upbringing in Los Angeles. I remember modeling for everything surf/skate…my long, bleached locks, tanned skin, and messy bangs completely identified with rock n’ roll surf culture of the time. But it wasn’t until I stepped on my first board in Costa Rica that I became hooked. Then I surfed Nicaragua and Mexico. That adrenaline rush is what I live for. Whenever I catch a wave and stand up, I start screaming and yelling. It’s completely uncontrollable. Conquering even a small wave makes me so happy that I have to shout. Grungy surf style will always have a place in my heart, and I know that the laid-back look by the sea will never go away. I’m taking that part of my style, and elevating it with statement pieces like this perfect paisley wetsuit along with a delicate earring. I wish I had more time to dedicate to the sport, but I’ll happily make the easy drive out to Montauk for a necessary afternoon pick-me-up.
It’s been a while since I’ve simply worn a good leather boot and leather jacket. These are items that just stick. They’re the essentials. They’re always right. With fashion constantly evolving and exposing me to new trends and interesting cuts, eccentric designs, and kaleidoscope heels (which I adore of course), I sometimes forget how amazing simplicity and the essentials really are. IRO really nails it when it comes to essentials. Back in California, I lean towards these easier pieces, paired with a breezy floral dress because it’s just the way of Californian living and breathing. It requires zero effort. Recently, I think about California a lot, and my parents, the sun, and the ocean. I miss these family road trips from my hometown of Los Angeles down to Laguna Beach. I can’t wait to do it all again every winter, with nothing to do in the backseat of the car but gaze up into the blue sky. This summer has been a wild and busy one so the calmness of the ocean is always in the back of my mind. I think about the times I would read my book on the front porch as I tan my legs. I think about the open road. I think about the mess the salty air makes of my hair. Home will always have a place in my heart. I’m dedicating this month to spending a little more times outside by the water.
Strapping into freedom is the best feeling in the world and shooting for such an iconic brand like Teva time and time again, brings me so much joy. With each project, we’re out and about, taking on a new adventure, and simply creating. That’s what I love to do most in my Teva sandals: discover and create. This time, the team and I packed up and headed to Chicago for Pitchfork Music Festival to celebrate the Teva Outpost bus and surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who have an appreciation for travel, music, fashion, freedom, and the great outdoors. We also packed up the boys! We rarely get to travel for work with the men in our life, but they were ready and excited to explore all of Chicago and really break in their must-have Teva sandals. Pitchfork is a festival for discovery. It’s super indie and right in the middle of the amazing city. As with any festival, I wore pops of color like hot pink, red, yellow, and blue. At Pitchfork, you won’t find the typical bohemian festival style. I saw a lot more cool jeans and laidback tees. I’m happy I ditched the fringe for some classic boyish blazers to tuck myself under during a light storm. My Teva Original sandals work well on a muddy, rainy day while my Flatforms sandals much preferred dancing in the sun. It’s amazing how Teva elevates and re-invents their classic sandals with new straps, buckles, and most durable and comfortable water-proof materials. Groundbreaking to say the least. They work in every situation and they go with everything and anything in my closet. I slip them on each day before hitting the festival and go “ahhh.” They just feel that good on.
My mother was born in Singapore, and all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins on my Chinese side still live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s no surprise that I have such a strong love for everything Southeast Asia. The delicious food in particular. My love for intensely spicy curries and laksa noodle soups began the day I was born. But the more I grow up, I’ve had this urge to learn more and more about the place my mother is from. While I’ve made many trip to Malaysia and absolutely love it, I’ve only been to Singapore once as a kid. When I had the opportunity to visit again to really enrich myself in everything this wonderful country has to offer on Singapore’s Crazy Rich Asian press trip, I jumped at it. Not only did we get to experience much of Singapore’s “crazy rich asian” indulgences from the top hotels to the best and most chic restaurants and bars (listed below), but we also went deep into Perankan history. “Perankan’ was the word of the trip. Peranakans are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the area in the 15th and 17th century. You’ll notice the traditional Peranakan styled homes in my guide below. They comes in rows and rows of every color of the rainbow with a gorgeous British colonial design.
The 21 long hours of travel were well worth it. The moment we got off the plane, we were hit with that warm humidity you only get in Southeast Asia. I always feel at home when I’m on this side of the world. I get excited hearing “lah” at the end of every sentence (it’s the way my mother speaks), and I get excited knowing that I can laksa at any time of the day. We checked into our hotel for only an hour before beginning our non-stop tour of Singapore. I was so ready to indulge in the country’s rich history, colors, and innovative technology and architectural design. Sleep could wait.