Never content to be pigeon-holed as one thing or fulfill one stereotype, Natalie’s raw authenticity and unique style come through in everything she does.
American Giant: Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
Natalie Suarez: I’m Natalie Suarez, I’m a model and I have a fashion blog called Natalie Off Duty. So it kind of started as a passion project because I love fashion and I love photography and I love writing and I love style. It really just grew from that…and then it became more about lifestyle and more about traveling and whatever I’m working on. I’m also a singer so I sing and I write music, so I use the blog and social media to talk about everything I love.
AG: Did you start off with the blog first? You’re well known on Instagram too.
NS: Well, I started modeling before Instagram – I started when I was 15. It’s been funny to see how the industry has changed since social media started. Which is actually cool – it really helps my career. So that’s the blog and later came Instagram. I’m able to share everything that I’m doing and connect with people.
“modeling and New York and the people I see on the street and local bands – that kind of inspires everything”
AG: Where do you find the inspiration for your work? Is it from living in New York, or going out with fashion designers? Or hanging out with photographers or from travel? Or all of it?
NS: For me, style really started with just modeling. People dressing me up and working with all of these brands and I kinda figured out like, ‘Oh, I like this. This is my style.’ But there’s always New York – of course the city here just has so much going on. The music and…I’m really inspired by oldies rock, like soul music too. That inspires my singing. Kinda like Patti Smith and a little Mick Jagger – it’s kinda that rock n roll style, bohemian and eclectic. So modeling and New York and the people I see on the street and local bands – that kind of inspires everything.
AG: So where do you see yourself in a year from now?
NS: Well, I’ll definitely still be blogging, but who knows? Maybe I’ll be singing more, maybe I’ll be working on clothes – designing clothes with my sister. We always have all these idea for certain pieces – so we’re trying to figure out what could we actually make that’s our signature style. And everything we do will be linked to the blog, which I like. So we’ll always be doing that.
AG: Do you have words of wisdom or knowledge to impart on anyone starting up blogs or trying to get into fashion?
NS: Just stay true to yourself and not try to be like other people. And not strive for perfection, because I think in the blogging world and in social media everyone is always striving for perfection. Just standing out and being your own person and not following the trends. All these social media girls on Instagram posting – I feel like there’s so much pressure out there to be perfect or whatever. Which I get because the internet is kinda scary. [laughs]