Model Diaries with Natasha Oakley
Modeliste: Who would you say was your role model growing up?
Natasha: My parents. I grew up watching them both strive for success within their own small businesses and it set a natural standard in my eyes for how hard you have to work to succeed at something. Nothing comes easy and life is ever changing. Witnessing the ups and downs of managing your own business definitely made me fearless on my own, and receptive to change which has been integral to my success. They were huge inspirations to me!
Modeliste: Where were you born?
Natasha: I was born in Sydney, Australia.
Modeliste: What do you miss most about Australia?
Natasha: Luckily I travel home often for work so I don’t have to miss it for too long but the beaches in Sydney are some of the most beautiful in the world and I definitely miss them when I’m away!
Modeliste: Where are you living now?
Natasha: I am based in LA however at the moment I have been splitting my time between Sydney and LA as we are expanding Monday Swimwear into the Australian market.
Modeliste: What is the most California thing about you?
Natasha: I would say there’s a few of them but my love for smoothies and Pilates tops them all. Definitely very LA of me and a huge part of my life in California!
Modeliste: Tell us how you started your Bikini A Day blog.
Natasha: Devin, my best friend and business partner, and I both grew up close to beaches with Devin from Maui, and myself from Sydney, Australia. We spent a lot of time on the beach and in the water and like most young women grew an affinity for all things swim. We started A Bikini A Day because it combined our love for swimwear and photography. We were both really passionate about the blog so it wasn’t difficult to get other swim brands on board. The rest is history!
Modeliste: What can you tell us about your latest projects?
Natasha: I’m currently working on designing next year’s collections for my swimwear brand, Monday Swimwear. We have some really great new styles, prints, and sustainable fabrics being used. It’s a really exciting time for fashion and swimwear. I also have my year planned with some beautiful travel, and really great partnerships in the pipeline.
Modeliste: Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing your swimwear line?
Natasha: I draw a lot of my inspiration from my travels, the beautiful locations I visit, the gorgeous natural color palettes, and the amazing women I meet when I travel. Also, when designing, I always like to think “would I feel happy wearing this all summer?” “Would I feel comfortable wearing this to the beach?” Comfort is so important, especially when designing our beachwear collection. I like to base most the styles of comfort, choosing super soft, high quality materials, that our customer would feel comfortable and confident in.
Modeliste: How do you decide what to post on your social media?
Natasha: When I post on social media, I mostly like to share the things I like- beautiful scenic’s, beauty, and fashion. I like to share the beautiful locations I visit, but also share my real life, and my business. It’s important I get to inspire my followers through my content!
Modeliste: How do you engage with your fans?
Natasha: I like to stay active on social media and be at pulse with my followers and fans. It’s getting harder now with a larger following, but I try to read my comments, DM’s and story replies whenever I can. They’re usually positive and uplifting or inspire my upcoming content. I love getting feedback and feeling connected.
Modeliste: What is something your fans don’t know about you?
Natasha: I think a lot of people are always shocked to know I spent several years growing up in Miami, Florida.
Modeliste: How would you describe your personal style?
Natasha: I like to think of my personal style as feminine, effortless, and timeless. I prefer flattering silhouettes and adding staple pieces to my wardrobe over too many trendy pieces. I also love feeling comfortable and base some of my fashion choices off pure comfort day to day.
Modeliste: What’s your favorite fashion trend of all time?
Natasha: High waisted vintage Levi’s- They really are so flattering on everybody and instantly add a chic, effortless vibe to any look.
Modeliste: What’s your favorite trend of the moment?
Natasha: I love how fashion is growing to be more inclusive and use sustainable, recyclable fabrics. It’s such a positive shift in the industry and I’m excited to be a part of it. Even knowing that consignment is growing is such a positive shift.
Modeliste: Fashion icons?
Natasha: I’ve always loved Rosie Huntington Whitley’s fashion, and am really loving Jennifer Aniston’s 90’s inspired style at the moment.
Modeliste: Signature scent?
Natasha: Lys 41 from Le Labo
Modeliste: What would you say is your beauty philosophy?
Natasha: I always believed that my beauty routine starts from within. I like to sleep 8 to 9 hours a night, eat healthy foods, workout, and drink lots of water. Whenever I’m not doing this, I definitely notice a difference. In order to see results on the “outside”, you need to be nurturing your body from the inside.
Modeliste: What’s a beauty product that you don’t go a day without wearing?
Natasha: Creme de la Mer moisturizing creme. I apply morning and night after cleansing and haven’t gone 1 day without it in years!
Modeliste: Favorite lip color?
Natasha: I’ve always loved pairing Boldy Bare lip liner by Mac and Fresh’s Sugar Lip treatment in the color Honey. It’s such a pretty, and natural lip tint.
Modeliste: Any big trips coming up?
Natasha: There’s a long list this year, and some really exciting travel on the horizon. We just wrapped up our Monday Swimwear Summer Campaign shoot in The Bahamas which is always a highlight. It’s so inspiring as a designer and as a team to see all of our work come to life in that location.
Modeliste: What music track always ends up on your curated playlist?
Natasha: Music is really a big part of my life and affects my mood greatly. Frank Ocean, Jorga Smith, and Drake usually end up in most of my playlists, but I honestly love most genres of music so you’ll find me listening to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bon Ivor and Angus & Julia stone as well.
Modeliste: Current binge watch?
Natasha: I’ve been loving Grace and Frankie at the moment. It’s such a feel good, funny and uplifting show!
Modeliste: Most recent book you’ve read?
Natasha: The Outliers, Malcom Gladwell
Modeliste: If you could raid anyone’s closet, whose would it be?
Natasha: I would love to raid Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s closet. She has such classic and timeless taste and always looks stunning on the red carpet.
Modeliste: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Natasha: The best advice I received was to do what I love so you don’t have to work a day in your life. Running a business is a full time commitment that you don’t get to clock out of. It’s important to be doing what you love so the pressure and intensity of running your own company doesn’t take a toll.
Modeliste: What’s a piece of advice that you completely ignored?
Natasha: I’ve received a lot of great business advice from my mentors and colleagues and I haven’t ignored any of the advice. I’ve tailored the advice to fit my business and my situation.
Modeliste: What do you want to be known for?
Natasha: I’d love to be known as a great role model, someone who advocates for body positivity, and I’m honored when women tell me that I’ve changed the swimwear industry for them. It’s so great to know I was able to positively affect so many women’s lives. I also strive to be a great leader to my team and it means a lot to me to know I can inspire them on a daily basis.
Modeliste: Who are the three women that are blowing your mind right now?
Natasha: Meaghan Markle, Greta Thunberg, and as always, Oprah Winfrey.
Modeliste: What do you love most about Modeliste magazine?
Natasha: I love all that they give recognition to so many different women in all industries. Modeliste has broken away from industry precedence and standards. It was so amazing to shoot for such a well-rounded magazine.
Modeliste: What message would you like to say to your fans?
Natasha: Thank you for inspiring me both personally and professionally to always become a better person and to push my own boundaries. Your daily support and encouragement is a gift and my one wish is that in return I can be an inspiration to you all as well. It’s been so amazing sharing every part of my journey with you and I hope you all know that when you believe in yourself, the sky’s the limit!