INEXCLSV sat down with Natalie (@natalieoffduty) and Dylana (@dylanasuarez) Suarez, the creative duo behind our FW19 collection editorial. The successful pair shares their secrets to a balanced life as we discussed fashion, career advice, family, and self-care.
What role does fashion play in your day-to-day?
We find getting dressed every day to be an art — a way to express our mood, our personality, and our voices. Our styles throughout the years have completely shaped who we've wanted to be, and who we've become. It immediately gives me confidence and freedom. We have always gravitated towards stand-out style. Something unique. Something unexpected. We love color.
What's the best career or life advice you've ever received?
Our parents have been with us every step of the way with our careers, being our biggest cheerleaders. They are our best friends, and we can talk to them about anything. Ever since we were little, they told us we could do whatever we set our minds to. Whatever we believed, we could achieve. And they always pushed us to continue doing what we loved, to go back to our roots and our inspirations, to what made us happy. They always wanted us to focus on our personal growth and education so that we were prepared for anything when the time came, even if it meant more time studying or practicing. To have someone who truly believes in you is the best feeling in the world. It's empowering. The best advice I've received from them is to be fearless, in all aspects of life. All of the encouragement to take the unconventional path in life helped us build the confidence and strength that we needed to find our voices, and use it powerfully in the workplace.
Is there a book or a movie that influenced your life?
The film, "In the Mood for Love" brings us back to our Chinese roots. The gorgeous dresses. The moody lighting. It's so visually inspiring.
How has failure set you up for later success?
Success for us is happiness. If something doesn't work out, I always believe it is for the best. It just means that something better is meant to come along. Something that is simply a better fit. I think with time, and with age, setbacks feel less and less like something stressful, and more like hurdles that make us stronger. Having challenges is what makes us grow and what makes us better.
What is your favorite quote?
"Imperfection is beauty, and madness is genius." - Marilyn Monroe.
Where is your favorite place on earth?
Simply being home with family in Los Angeles, and taking a road trip. We love hopping in the car, and heading either for the beach or the desert. There's something so comforting about so much open land and space.
What is your version of self-care and wellness?
Self-care and wellness for us are nourishing our mind, body, and soul. We feel best when we're constantly up and moving, being energized. That starts with eating healthy, getting a lot of rest, and finding a work/life balance. It's also about surrounding yourself with positive people, and a good group of friends. The way we spend our downtime is just little luxuries of self-care. They keep us going and keep us grounded.
What are you looking for when you buy clothes?
We always shop for quality fabrics and sustainable materials. We want pieces that last, that feel amazing on our skin, and that are timeless.
What is the best gift you've ever received?
Our dad came home from an estate sale with an old DSLR over ten years ago. It was huge and heavy, but it took amazing photographs. That is how we became self-taught photographers. We would shoot one another in our backyards and post them on our blogs. It helped develop our aesthetic and eye for editorial fashion. It's the best gift we have ever received because it opened our eyes to a whole new world.