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.
Bonnaroo 2017 accomplished! I have never had so much fun camping at a music festival in my entire life. It’s complete freedom: waking up to the hot sun with a good cup of coffee, and hearing the headliners string their guitars during rehearsal at 9am. Bonnaroo is super laidback -filled with friendly locals and amazing music. In between shows this year, Dylana and I got to hang out in the sun with our Teva crew at the Teva Outpost…a beautifully curated and decked out bus filled with essential items for life on the road and camping on The Farm. You could shop any Teva sandalimaginable with the works: sunglasses, water bottles, face wipes, bandanas, patches and more. Oh, and not to mention, the bus featured fantastic air conditioning to escape the Tennessee heat.
As you guys may already know, I’ll be back at Bonnaroo with my Tevafamily. They’ve really taught me what life on the road is all about. The nitty gritty of driving through the country, how to live out of a suitcase, and most importantly, how to camp. My Teva crew knows how to take things to the next level when it comes to having a fun, adventurous community of people with a love for wandering. It’s traveling by foot that really inspires me. In the winter, I pair my Teva sandals with socks, while in the summer, they accompany me through walks through the jungle and on the beach. Here are some looks to get you inspired for these upcoming hot summer nights on the campground.
I’ve only heard amazing things of Tulum’s dreamy, white sandy beaches and eco-chic resorts. It was just what this New Yorker needed after what feels like a long, never-ending winter. Mexico’s hot sun, mouth-watering salsa, and pops of cerveza were calling my name! Plus, I’ve been dying to brush up on my Spanish. Every year, my sister Dylana and I plan a girls trip to bring together some of our favorite babes from around the world. We love anywhere with a bit of culture, lots of sun, and of course, somewhere picture perfect. Tulum was the place. We hopped on a plane straight for Cancun, before making the 2 hour drive to our off-the-beaten path beach. For trips like these, I’m always on my feet. I count on Teva to keep me covered and ready for just about anything. I packed 5 pairs. You know a girl needs her options! I love how they go with every single look, whether it be a bikini or a perfect sun dress. My Teva obsession began years ago…on the campgrounds at hot, hot Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee. Which then lead us out to the jungles and hot springs of beautiful Costa Rica. And of course, we ended up even taking our Teva sandals back to NYC for fashion week, with a play on sock’s and sandal’s, one of my favorite trends. Let’s just say, no crazy adventure with my girls ever seems complete without them now.
For our first night in Tulum, we decided to “glamp.” Glamping Hubreally got me into it. It allowed us to really feel the heartbeat of the town. We slept in beautiful huts under the stars at Joy Tulum. We caught up on life by our pool, giggling like little girls late into the night (it’s been a year since we’ve all seen each other), and woke to the sound of the birds chirping. I’m so excited to tell you a few spots we’ve visited during our stay. A friend recommended we walk to Burrito Amor for breakfast, a hip joint just by our campground.The amazing thing about this spot, and Mexico in general, is their love for colorful fruit and delicious spices and chilis. A breakfast burrito was exactly what I was craving after a long day of traveling. With our bellies full, we grabbed our camera equipment and set off for the cenotes…beautiful warm, bodies of water surrounded by trees and exotic birds. They’re fantastic places to swim. They’re so calm, you can float for hours. I never took my Teva sandals off, even when jumping off the highest ledge into the cenote. I always swim in them. They protect my feet and somehow make me feel safe.
Our next few days were in front and behind our cameras. We were ready for early mornings shootings on the water, and spent our next few nights in a beautiful apartment by the long stretch of white sandy beach. Lazy afternoons were spent at The Beach Hotel for lunch, a luxurious hotel with a super secluded and remote beach just steps from the bar. You can wander just far enough that not even a soul was in sight. Nights were spent at the Papaya Playa Project, a stunning seaside resort with loud jams to dance to, surrounded by the dark crushing waves and acres of preserved lush and trees. This is a super romantic date night spot, that’s also a ton of fun.
With amazing food and culture, comes a very diverse crowd. People from all over the world have settled in Tulum to bring vibrancy and diversity to the city. Here are a few more of my lunch and dinner recommendations. Dinner at Hartwood is a total must. Go for the beet salad, plantains, and white fish. So fresh and beautifully presented. This chic spot was started by a New Yorker, so expect a super cool and unique menu every single night. We found another more casual spot, Tunich Tulum, that’s great for lunch. Also started from an expat from Australia, it’s spin on a classic Mexican dish is both comforting and inspiring. But even with all of these amazing, innovative food choices, sometimes all we really wanted to was an authentic Mexican classic plate of rice, beans, and a few good tacos. It’s the type of food I grew up eating, and I was craving it hard. That, of course, you can find anywhere off the side roads in Playa del Carmen…the town where the locals live by Tulum. When our driver picked us up at the airport, all I wanted were tacos. He took us to a tiny hole-in-the-wall on the side of the road. Simple pollo tacos with cilantro and onions, and served with delicious salsa in tiny plastic bags. Classic, and easy.
From Tulum, we spent a few nights in Mayakoba, just an hour away to stay at the stunning Fairmont Mayakoba resort. I traded in my sandy leather hat and dusty overall shorts for bold red dresses and luxurious printed kaftans. My Teva sandals love to be styled every which way. Up or down. It’s amazing having a beach shoe to dance in and still hike in the next morning. Mayakoba has absolutely stunning beaches as well. It’s the perfect place to really decompress at the end of a long, adventure trip with a few much-needed moments by the pool. I’m still missing the hustle and bustle of the people and spirit in Tulum. Until next time will our sandy sandals wait.
You know how much the Suarez Sisters love our Tevasandals! They hold so many memories for us. From our crazy road trips through the south from New Orleans to Alabama and Tennessee, to those muddy days camping out at Bonnaroo. Oh, and we cannot forget hiking through the jungles of Costa Rica. I can count on them for just about any travel escape that involves what I love most about these past summer months…like hiking, surfing, and exploring. For me, they represent freedom. The freedom to slip them on and be adventurous, feeling closer to the earth, and inspired to try new things. The amazing thing about Teva sandals is transitioning them from summer’s hot sweaty days in the sun, to a chic stroll down the tree-lined streets of Central Park in the city. That’s when SOCKS N’ SANDALS come out to play for us. It’s a trend that Dylana and I absolutely love. We love anything that is completely unexpected, fun, and makes a statement. With the right outfit, it totally works. See how we styled our Teva flatforms and sandals for 5 of our favorite fall activities. It’s a totally refreshing new take on the socks n’ sandals trend that’s hit the runways and we can’t get enough of it.