Model Natalie Lim Suarez, best known for her fashion blog Natalie Off Duty, has been walking the catwalk since her teenage years. Now she’s using her years of modeling experience to write, design, and creative-direct. Besides her passion for fashion, Natalie is also a music aficionado, and in her recent and upcoming fashion campaigns, she’s been adding some of her own vocals.
With that varied background in mind, we sat down with Natalie as she was preparing to go on duty for one of the biggest weeks of the year—New York Fashion Week—and asked her to make a playlist of music she’d strut her stuff to.
What kinds of music or podcasts do you listen to as you’re getting ready for a show and need a boost of energy, or to focus? How about after, when you need to relax and unwind?
What artists and genres are on your playlists for when you’re working out?
You have roots in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. What kinds of music did you listen to when you were growing up?
My father is Latin and I grew up listening to a lot of Santana. My love for rock ’n’ roll really began there. I also grew up singing to Selena since I always studied the performing arts, and she really was a big inspiration to me. She danced, sang. I love her. Being an LA native, The Doors was always on repeat as well! I remember going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where my mother is from, and listening to a ton of Asian pop on the radio.
Who are some of the exciting artists and/or genres you’ve discovered while modeling for shoots overseas?
I’ve traveled all over the world for modeling campaigns, and some of my favorite artists I’ve discovered are Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, and Serge Gainsbourg in France, and while I was at Seoul Fashion Week, I discovered a ton of K-Pop like BLACKPINK. I like to listen to everything!
What are some of your favorite artists, songs, or styles of music to sing?
I love to sing the classics. I like to sing soft songs, folk songs, and even hard-core classic rock songs. Some of my favorite songs to sing are “If I Fell” from Across the Universe, a Beatles cover, “Bird Set Free,” by Sia, “Because the Night” from Patti Smith, and “Little Sister” by Jewel.
What songs, genres, or even podcasts would people be surprised to know you enjoy listening to?
People will be surprised that I love listening to the sounds of the ocean when I’m home working or relaxing. Sometimes when I’m home in NYC, all I want to hear is the birds chirping and windchimes. It reminds me of my home state of California.
If you could name one song that epitomizes your NYFW experience, what would it be?
“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. It’s a week that just gives you a major rush. This song evokes that feeling.