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Postcards From:
New York with Natalie Lim Suarez

Take flight and meet us in New York where we find LA-native Natalie Lim Suarez. The multi-hyphenated, queen-of-cool and writer of acclaimed digital platform Natalie Off Duty.

Known for her envious “model-off-duty” style and signature brunette bangs, spend the day across the globe where coastal sensibilities meet an effortless urban edge.

Discover the tales that influence Natalie’s personal style, what responsible fashion means to her and her hidden haunts in the city that never sleeps.Join us in a New York minute with Natalie Lim Suarez in the latest from Palisades.

Tell us more about your website Natalie Off Duty. Where do you find the inspiration for your content?

I started Natalie Off Duty in 2009 in my hometown of Los Angeles and have been creating stories for the blog ever since. As a model, now based in NYC, I wanted to have my own space that shared my behind-the-scenes look into the world of fashion. Growing up, I have always expressed myself through art. Whether it was through an image from a photoshoot, or through my original passions which are theatre, singing, and dance. I have always found a way to story-tell and I love having a platform where I can freely express myself. Natalie Off Duty came from the idea of the "model off duty" lifestyle which embodied that effortless, candid style from the streets of NYC and LA. What started as a place to share a closer look at my modelling work, turned into a collaborative space documenting my take on personal style, travel, home decor, photography, and so much more. I get to work with brands in creating beautiful campaigns and have also worked on product design collaborations of my own in fashion and beauty. I have really grown with my blog and have really gotten to evolve into the woman I've always dreamt of becoming.

How would you describe your personal style? Who is someone you look to for inspiration?

My personal style is very timeless. I love an elegant little black dress and of course, amazing suiting. I am all about the classics and giving it a little unexpected twist based on the time of year. I always lean towards investment pieces to wear time and time again.

Our collection was inspired by eternal summer, what signifies a true New York summer to you?

I love the idea of eternal summer and it definitely translates into this collection. I absolutely love summers in NYC. It reminds me of pizza and wine on the rooftop in a spaghetti strap dress, watching the sunset. There's really nothing better than that. So simple yet so perfect.

At Shona Joy we are constantly on a journey to be a more responsible business, is sustainability a consideration for you when selecting pieces?

Sustainability is huge for me when it comes to shopping and choosing pieces to keep in my closet. I love fabrics that are designed to last for years to come and fabrics that require less washing.

You can really feel how well made the Shona Joy linens and cottons are. I lean towards items like these because they are classic and really foundational pieces to my wardrobe.

You captured our latest collection, ‘Palisades’ around the streets of New York, tell us about this experience and what pieces were you most drawn to from the collection?

I loved giving the Palisades collection a little bit of that NYC edge like pairing the feminine black mini with a chunky boot, or taking out the luxurious oversize suit out for a walk on the Manhattan Bridge. In NYC, anything goes and that's the beauty of it. You're never too dressed up or too dressed down here.

It's all about attitude and feeling great in your own skin. That's what I loved about photographing this collection in NYC. I can give each effortless piece a new city spin based on my mood.

These silky soft dresses will look amazing at the beach, but give it a beret and a boot, and you've got yourself a perfect fall look. The Palisades collection is so versatile.

Share with us your 3 hidden gems of New York? Where to eat, play and discover?

Dumbo, Brooklyn: Dumbo, Brooklyn is my home and where I shot this story. I can't imagine living anywhere else. There are beautiful old buildings, a stunning park, and the best views you'll ever get in NYC. It's where art, dining, history, and cultures all come together. It's amazing how much this area has transformed. I love Celestine, a local Mediterranean restaurant, on a Sunday morning for early lunch. The backyard is so beautiful and definitely feels hidden and private. You can hear the waves crashing from here. It's so relaxing. If you want to go somewhere a little more off the grid to dine, there's Cafe Gitane a few blocks away from Dumbo in a quaint little area closeby called Vinegar Hill. This is a tiny little corner restaurant that is super chic and delicious.

Biking the Brooklyn Bridge Park Piers. I am always on my bike when the weather is beautiful. Biking the piers is where I clear my mind. There's also a lot of amazing art installations throughout the piers that you can stop and discover. It's the best place to soak up the sun and get your body moving, anytime of year.

Nyonya in Chinatown. Sometimes I really crave Malaysian food. It's where my mother on my Chinese side was born and raised and it's the food I grew up eating. Whenever I am craving Hainanese chicken or Nasi Lemak, I go here, to this super casual and cool spot. It just reminds me of home.

What are your wardrobe essentials for living in New York during the summer?

My wardrobe essentials are classic midi dresses, anything linen, and of course an amazing cotton or denim suit. I like things that feel easy and simple. That's the way to go when you're in the NYC heat.

The Shona Joy girl is constantly travelling, you also have a passion for travelling. Where is your favourite destination you’ve been to so far and where are you off to next?

I just got back from a trip to Lisbon, Portugal and it has become one of my absolute favourite travel destinations. It's a place that feels relaxed and down-to-earth. The people are kind, the food is incredible, and the architecture is amazing.

I love any city by the sea and Lisbon has it all. I also spent a few nights in Cascais, which is a small Portuguese fishing town. The ocean views are truly breathtaking.

Coming up, I am headed to Stockholm for a project next week. I also always leave Stockholm feeling so inspired by their unique take on design and dressing. There's a simplicity and minimalism to it that I love. As a New Yorker, we could all use a little more of that.


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