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.
Lee Jeans are iconic. They go way back, to 1889, when they were founded in their home state of Kansas. To find an old pair of perfect Lee Jeans in a vintage store always feels like such a score. Luckily, the brand has a new Vintage Modern collection. Think all of your favorite vintage classics, just totally updated. I am seriously obsessed with the “Union-Alls” overalls. They have that perfect boxy fit on top with a fitted high waist, and modern slim leg. It was amazing taking inspiration from our denim icons like Bridget Bardot and Bob Dylan, giving it a feminine tomboy feel with giant sunglasses and eclectic tops and vests.
This campaign shoot was a dream. It features two of my best friends, Deborah Hsu and my sister Dylana Lim Suarez. Dylana happens to be the star of a number of Lee Jeans’ current campaigns. She’s their perfect muse and I’m so thankful she brought us all together for this specific campaign to bring the full collection to life. We began the shoot at Raggedy Threads NYC, a super curated vintage store in East Williamsburg. I fell in love with this warmly-lit cozy space. The founder happens to be a collector of Lee Jeans and even has rows and rows of Buddy Lee dolls lining the shop’s walls! It made for a perfect shoot location thanks to it’s love and understanding of the brand’s heritage along with a super lived in, shabby-chic feel. You’ll see how we styled this shoot with a classic 70’s mentality. I pulled out my beautiful silk ruffled blouses, statement sunglasses, and gorgeous neck scarves. Warm tones of purple, red, and mustard yellow compliment a perfect pair of All-American blue jeans in the best possible way. Think tough NYC girl band of the 60’s and 70’s. That’s us when we wear Lee.
I like to have shown that my denim has been loved throughout it’s life.
I am so excited to finally show you my “I Choose Blues” campaign shoot for Anthropologie. To be their denim girl this season is pretty amazing, as I find so much confidence when I slip into a perfect pair of hip-hugging jeans. I take my favorite denim pieces wherever I go. They’ve seen a lot of places in this world and with each place there’s a little remnant of each it’s place. You can see it in a fade, rip, or softness in a fabric. The amazing thing about denim is there’s nothing wrong with them getting old. I don’t call them old, I call them loved. I like how soft my jeans get after numerous washes. The way the knees start to fade, and the way the pockets start to fray. I like getting them dirty, adding paint splatters on them, and even chopping hems when I’m feeling experimental. Each piece of wear, part of my story. I will always remember summers in California, cutting vintage jeans into denim shorts, or adding patches and pins to my jean jacket. My denim style is certainly now a lot more refined. Flares, high-rise skinnies, and billowing denim blouses. It’s all about the fit and feel. It’s a mix of tomboy vintage and feminine necessities. 100% comfortable. 100% me.
With every summer comes the classic denim short. Always lived in. Always a little rough around the edges. Always with stories to tell. Like that time we hit the road to Palm Springs and trekked through the windy mountains just to get the shot. No trip to the West Coast is complete without denim. A classic blue pair of denim shorts gives me the freedom to style it anyway I like. With7 For All Mankind, Dylana and I created our own stories on the road, shot here for Who What Wear.
We went with 3 top summer trends: Retro, All Americana, and Western.
It’s so hard finding the perfect blue jean that has that vintage feel. No added stretch, just love. Meet the Phoebe by AG Jeans. A cropped frayed hem, high waist, and total butt-hugging perfection. I’ve got 2 more days in LA and I’m savoring every moment back in my hometown. Dy and I are actually headed to the AG factory to see how some of our favorite jeans are made. I love getting an inside peek on the process. The washes, the cuts, and design. It’s always such a unique learning experience. Really good denim is part of my California-girl DNA. We grew up in denim-on-denim, vintage Wranglers, and full-on flares from Limited Too with leopard stripes down the side. We were the tomboys off of Wilshire Blvd. Them jeans though.