We’re so excited to launch the 2nd season of the Volcomunity Collective Series with model and Volcomunity ambassador Natalie Suarez. Her designs, style, and take on Holiday makes anyone excited for the weather to cool and the party atmosphere to begin! We took a moment to interview Natalie and find out all about the design process and her inspiration around this collection. Also, stay tuned for next week when we give the first preview of Volcom athlete Elena Hight’s Volcomunity collection for the Holiday season.
Natalie’s collection pieces are available this month at shop.volcom.com, Volcom stores and finer retailers globally.
Where are you writing these answers from (Ie. where are you currently at) and what are you doing there?
I’m in New York City, where I now live. Modeling brought me out here 6 months ago, and I didn’t think I’d end up staying so long! Now, I call this place home as well.
Being your 2nd collection with Volcom, was the design process easier, do you feel more versed and experienced?
Yes, the design process became much easier for me as we transitioned from Fall into my Holiday collection. I think I really nailed what sort of clothing fit the typical Volcom girl. Going from reviewing sketches with the design team to getting them into production and finally fitting the samples, felt very natural during my 2nd go!
Did you see pieces that you wished you had included in your original collection that you were able to bring to life here?
Definitely. My Holiday collection flows with my Fall line. Of course for Holiday, we got to get a bit more creative and really dig into different textures and fabrics that were more festive. We played with much heavier knits for winter and worked closely with “extremes.” It really is all about extremes here. I love the extreme, oversize dolamn shape, extreme leather sleeves, cut-out backs, and we even carried on the exaggerated high-low hem into my Holiday collection as well.
What is your inspiration for the Holiday 2012 collection? Explain briefly.
I was very much inspired by the tailored, suited looks that you’d see boys sport at holiday events. I love those sort of clean lines. We took that classic look and threw in exaggerated details. My Holiday collection is very detail-oriented. We worked with a tuxedo look…it’s very “masculine dress-up.” Comfort and practicality were also strong points for me when developing this line.
In one sentence describe this collection.
This collection is very much understated luxury, it’s the dressed down versions of a party piece yet still allows you to be the life of the party.
What are you most excited about in your Holiday collection?
Because it’s for winter, I’m so excited to get to play with so many different textures. I wanted this collection to be festive, but still have that hard edged beauty. Working with those soft, yet tough fabrics allowed me to get a bit more detailed with each piece and add in a little quirkiness into each piece.
How would you describe your holiday style?
My holiday style is very understated luxury..like this collection. I’ve always stayed very true to my aesthetic of the feminine, but tomboy…edgy but beautiful look. I like a little masculinity in each piece, but of course with a bit of softness around the edges. I’m always very casual…and I never like feeling too “done.”
What can we expect to see in the collection—what type of color palette, fabrics, and special features?
One of my favorite additions to this collection is the chiffon fabric. There are a few piece in here with just little touches of chiffon that really make the whole piece a bit more special. This is also a collection where we are playing with some real, genuine leather. That toughness it brings to the collection is amazing. As for the color palette, I wanted something really soft and pretty, so I leaned towards a dusty pink shade, beige, a dark navy blue, and some heather greys. It’s really the perfect combination.
Holiday is a great time to play “dress up” – is this collection about dressing up for the season?
This collection is definitely about dressing up, but it’s a very low-key, effortless sort of “dress up.” Nothing it too done, everything allows you to move and feel confident in yourself. Because the pieces are so tailored and classic, the little tweaks here and there make it a bit more youthful and fun. it’s a unique approach to holiday dressing.
What Volcom designer did you work with on this collection?
I have been working with Grace Lee on my Fall as well as Holiday collection. She’s been my perfect design partner in crime!
What was it like working with this designer?
Grace Lee is amazing. She’s one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met and she’s incredibly talented and great at what she does. She style is feminine, but is still very eclectic. My style is a bit more tomboy and rough around the edges. I think when you the put the two of us together and start making clothes, everything reflects the “Volcom” girl so well. Plus, she much like me and doesn’t take fashion too seriously…she’s carefree and fun, and is daring when it comes to making a piece of clothing. That’s the best way to be when it comes down to it really!
Who do you design for—what type of look, style and what overall type of girl do you expect to wear your product?
I designed this collection for that really cool, strongly independent girl. She’s different from everyone else and that’s why people are so drawn to her beauty. Her style is taken a little bit from the boy, and a little bit from the girls. She’s carefree and very daring. I guess you could call her the girl who’d wear the sequin skirt in this collection and though she knows she can look super rad in a great pair of heels, she’d rather thrown on a grungy pair of vintage boots. She has that confidence. Everything in her look is about contradictions.
What is your favorite piece of the collection?
My favorite piece would have to be the tuxedo blouse. It’s got a bit of sheerness to it and it has an amazing collar. I’m a blouse fanatic, and I see myself wearing it time and time again, even after the holiday season!
If you were not a model, blogger and in the fashion world what would you be doing?
I’d most likely be working on music. As a singer, I’ve always wanted to record and work more on that. Hopefully down the line, I will have the time to make more music. Fashion and music go hand in hand for me.
Where is your favorite place to shop and why?
I love vintage and so find more of my favorite pieces at garage sales! I love waking up early on weekends and hitting up a few local estate sales. My favorites are in LA. Somehow I always score big! It’s like a thrill.
What ideas do you have for the photo shoot of your Holiday 2012 collection?
My sister, Dylana Suarez of colormenana.blogspot.com, is an amazing photographer. I feel most comfortable when she photographs me. We were thinking of taking the photoshoot to the streets of Philadelphia…by the amazing old murals on the street. It’d be a great way to dress down the Holiday pieces and throw in some grunge. I’m very excited to get started.
What is your favorite ‘Holiday’ moment? (ie. Christmas with family, going to parties, shopping, ect… just a little story)
My favorite Holiday moment would definitely have to be the food. I love when all my friends and I gather around and cook together before having a big meal. There’s always a lot of laughter involved! And I have to say shopping is so fun around the holidays. For some reason, I really love the massive crowds going through Soho and 5th Avenue. It always gets me in the Christmas spirit. Being on the hunt for gifts for friends and family is such an adrenaline rush.
Available in finer Volcom retailers and Volcom stores starting this month