DW__Who are you? (I saw that you are model, recording your own music and working with your sister Dylana? tell me more about that)
I'm Natalie Suarez, I'm 22 years old, and I live in NYC. I do a bunch of things. Primarily, I'm a model. I've modeled for nearly 8 years now! But growing up, I was constantly surrounded by the arts. My older sister, is also an artist, singer, and photographer. Music and art is just in our DNA. I learned so much from her. So yes, I do record my own music in my free time, and I also work in design. I design a women's shoes collection with my boyfriend, his family, and my sister Dylana, at Modern Vice. I guess I do a bit of everything. Modeling, music, design, and everything in between. My blog, Natalie Off Duty (Natalie Off Duty), is where I've shared my journeys for over 4 years. From a young model in LA, to making it on my own in NYC. I've been through many things at such a young age, and had so many crazy experiences. I'm glad I've had my blog to document it all...along with share what I'm obsessed with, what I'm working on, and what I'm wearing. It was my sister, Dylana, who's had her incredible blog for years, Color Me Nana (colormenana.blogspot.com) for years, who encouraged me to get into this digital world. She's my best friend and she inspires me daily.
I started my blog back in 2009! I can't believe how fast time flies once you're all grown up. Dylana is who introduced me to fashion blogs, and I instantly become obsessed. I spent a whole day reading blogs once I just discovered them. I found them highly addictive. She would photograph me for her site, Color Me Nana, in our own backyard. She said "you're the model, you pose!" Later on, I realized, I might as well start my own. Now, it's been over 4 years! I love it. I was in my bedroom and came up with the name "Natalie Off Duty" because I was in love with that "model off duty" effortless look that I was constantly surrounded by. I've been modeling since I was 15 and so by the time I started my blog, I already had a good sense of my own individual style, inspired by the brands I've worked with, photography, and just that thrown-together rock n' roll vibe. I'd work with what I had, and constantly scoured vintage. I never went to a casting looking like anyone else. I was all about dressing up and catching people's attention. I feel that's a bit into my success as a model.
"Natalie Off Duty" is my baby. I update it almost daily, whether it be behind the scenes of a shoot I'm working on, what I'm wearing, or where I'm traveling to for work...or pure fun. I love photography, taking photos, and sharing a story just through an image. I love taking control of that picture. With "Natalie Off Duty" I get total creative freedom. As a model, I was always told what to do, put into an outfit, and set to be someone else. With my blog, I get to really be me. I love how it's also opened so many doors for me...whether it be designing a collection, or being an ambassador for a brand. I get to work even more behind the scenes now in whatever I do. I love getting deep into my work.
Fashion to me is all about expression. How you're feeling that day. What you're inspired by. What you want to portray. I love playing with different proportions, layers, and colors. I don't have one particular style either. Some days I'm just so classic and simple...and other's I'm super eccentric with my dressing, with colors and textures. Rock n' roll with a touch of bohemian...mostly from my LA background. But I'm still such a city girl. I love to accessorize. For me, it's all in the little details in any item I am wearing.
The 70's. It's when it was ok for a woman to be androgynous and still be considered sexy. When people were the most eclectic with their style. When boys and girls could share an item of clothing. I love that. I'm very much a hippie at heart.
I think fashion bloggers do have such a huge influence in the fashion world. Today, more and more brands want to put an item on a blogger even more than a celebrity...only because they're more relatable and real. Plus, with a blog, you can shop an item instantly. There's honestly a blogger for every single style. They're more powerful now than ever. And it's quick and instant. Daily, bloggers are posting about brands, shows, and everything else in between right away. Quicker than any magazine. So yes, bloggers are so influential. Plus, many become more than a "blogger" with experience...working at large fashion houses and becoming ambassadors to brands. Blogs are kind of like your own little resume and it's your own business for sure.
Magazines will always live because there really is nothing like touching that paper and feeling immersed in the pages. But yes, so much is online, I can see why many advertisers and sponsors go to websites and blogs. I think that there will always be a form of a blog. Brands have blogs, magazines have blogs.. they will always need that more personal connection to their readers or shoppers. A blog is the perfect way for normal everyday people to connect with the fashion world.
Everyday I'm inspired to get dressed. I love to mix the basics with something eccentric and different. Music is my main inspiration. I listen to a lot of classic rock. I can hear a song and suddenly I'm messing up my hair...dressing more like a boy in a band...or I'll be dressed like a total lady with a little edge or toughness to it. There's no style I really stay away from. Or sometimes I'll take inspiration from a character in a movie and make it my own. I like to play characters that always just kind of flow into my own personal way of dressing. As for my personality, I've always been a bit over the top and outspoken, I like to joke and have fun. I've learned that nothing needs to be taken too seriously. I've never followed a traditional path in life.
-Good pair of beat-up black boots
-Tailored Navy Blue Coat
I love the crazy vibe of the city..it inspires me to get up everyday...go to work...get dressed...live life fully. And traveling. Anything that keeps me on my toes. I love the energy of NYC. No wonder I ended up staying here for over 2 years now. Oh, and The Rolling Stones. I can listen to them all day long. They keep me going.
Someone who thinks for themselves, and evokes beauty in the littlest of things. From the way they dress, to how they speak, to their kindness at heart. Someone who can inspire someone else to better themselves. A style icon would be one who could wear just about anything, embrace it, and still look totally rad.
A good pair of vintage blue jeans, a striped tee, and a leather jacket, and sunglasses. Effortless, and requires no thought.
A western black buckled boot with a slight heel. Something that immediately adds that super cool factor to any look. The perfect travel boot. Definitely, our "Natalie + Dylana Suarez x Modern Vice" JETT boot. It's my iconic bootie. I love it simple, or studded.
Ever-changing, Inspiring, and story-telling.
I'm sorry it took me over a month to get this interview back to you. You rock.