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.
It feels like I’ve been living on an airplane, so to look back at this day is giving me a breath of fresh air. Two more hours until the gorgeous beaches of the Cayman Islands. I am so ready for landing it’s not even funny. More to come from this work trip, but for now, let’s take a flash back to this perfect little silk number at sundown from back in Palm Springs.
There’s something about Marni that I’ve always loved. It’s the prints. It’s the unexpected silhouettes…like this boxy little jacket from the Marni x Yooxcollaboration. It’s something you’d find in your grandmother’s closet in Beverly Hills, but with a cool youthful spin. Somehow these tailored little jackets add a touch of glam to every casual look. I took these quirky pieces out to the grassy fields of the valley of Los Angeles. I’m always dressing these dry fields with splashes of color from my wardrobe. I’m always painting the town. These are the hills I’d ride my bike through as a kid. Where I’d lay out and get a tan. Where I’d ride off in my car after going through the local drive-through. It’s the place where you always dream of escaping…to go somewhere bigger and better. If it weren’t for these boring valley streets did I feel such drive, such motivation, and such courage to get myself out there. To create. To live. To love. I take my slight valley gal accent to every city I end up traveling to with pride. Once a Cali girl, always a Cali girl.
Winters are the west coast are a completely different type of escape. Still a bit chilly, but a lot more relaxed and low-key. Whenever I’m traveling back home to the west coast, I put my best “cardigan weather” outfits together. It’s a term my mother used my whole life to describe our home of Santa Monica. She never went a day without throwing her cardigan in the backseat of the car. To me, “cardigan weather” describes when the sea so bright you have to squint, but the air so crisp you still need your woven knit to take the dog on a walk on the sand. Anything to toss over and wrap around your shoulders once night falls. Winters on the coast in California are all about classic knits and solid colors. I fell in love with the latest selection at Chicwish. They’ve brought back the vintage-inspired mustard turtleneck and hunter green wrapped skirts. Not to mention, beautiful flowing flared sleeved sweaters. It’s a fun, updated version on all a nubby classic. California winters are all about taking long walks under the tall trees while hearing the waves crashing in the distance. There really is nothing like it. It’s so peaceful. I like to soak in all of nature’s beauty. Carmel has some of the whitest sand on the California coast, making it even more magical and bright. When I’m home, I suddenly become my most effortless self. Less makeup. Natural beach waves. Just my staple pieces that I packed into my carry-on. That’s what I love about this monochrome ensemble…I can wear each piece a million ways and take a million more walks to the seaside in style.
From Los Angeles, we took the 5 hour drive up Highway 1 to the beautiful Carmel, California. I was beyond excited. The northern coast of California is purely magical. There really is no place like it. This was a very different New Year’s vacation. It was definitely a lot more calming than the crazy New Years Eve house parties happening down in LA. So we did things a little differently this year. We checked in at The Hotel Carmel, just on the corner of 4th street and San Carlos. This boutique hotel is the perfect place to de-stress and de-compress. Being a short walk from the beach and town, it’s a place where you simply wake up, grab a coffee, go on your balcony to stretch, and take some relaxing deep breathes. For me, it’s actually sooo nice not to have a packed itinerary. Back home in NYC, it seems everything is just non-stop. I love any place where you’re just close enough to civilization, culture, food, and the beach but still feels so secluded. We spend the days driving down Highway 1, soaking in all of it’s natural wonders. The fog rolling over the cliffs. The waves crashing against giant, beautiful rocks. Driving from Carmel to Big Sur is like driving through a painting. You kind of have to pinch yourself to be convinced that it’s all real. As the rain started to patter on our windows, we got back to the hotel just at wine hour. So intimate and homey, that you kind of feel like you’re a guest in someone’s living room. We became friends with a ton of international guests. It was really fun listening to their stories of why they often come back to Carmel…of all the places in the world! Most people had little love stories with this city that made it a must-have pitstop amongst their USA travels. We met people from Spain, Australia, and even London, who find Carmel to be a little bit like their home away from home. It’s a place where all you have on your agenda is a fantastic Italian dinner in town, followed with a jump in the hot tub by the fire pit. A really good getaway always starts with a great hotel.