I interviewed photographer and interior designer Natalie Obradovich about her latest partnership with Five Four, a menswear brand based out of Los Angeles. Natalie has designed a stunning pair of swimming trunks that feature one of her travel photos. This interview was featured on both the Five Four and Menlo House blog.
Meet Natalie Obradovich - world traveler, photographer, and interior designer - she's the mastermind behind Nat en Voyage, a boutique gallery that sells contemporary photography. We had the opportunity to discuss her latest travels, tips for planning an adventure trip, and her recent collaboration with Five Four for a capsule collection.
What's the story behind the the name Nat en Voyage?
It’s inspired by travel, and my sister thought of it. We wanted something that sounded foreign and made you want to get up and go somewhere. Also, my last name Obradovich is really long so Nat en Voyage is easier to roll off the tongue. I wanted to keep the website accessible, and the name is catchy enough where you can spell it easily and understand what it’s getting at.
It’s a place you’ve always wanted to go; the idea is to bring home a destination that you may not have been to or an image that reminds you of a place you’ve been to.
You recently traveled to Bali, and I was wondering if you have any inside tips for navigating a new city?
Bali is a magical place. Having a driver is a good thing, and it's cheap - you don't necessarily need to have a guide. We went to Ubud one day, and our driver took us to a waterfall, the big temple, the rice fields in Tegalalang, and it was incredible to see all those sites in one day.
Instagram is your friend - start sifting through images that are geo-tagged because that will give you an idea of where things are and what they might look like. I also Googled, “Best Beaches in Bali,” and did a lot of research that way.
You worked for Kelly Wearstler, who is a major powerhouse in the design world. How did that experience influence your aesthetic?
She was the first designer I worked for when I was still at USC. She had an incredible influence - not only is she an amazing designer, she’s an amazing person.
From the perspective of a young person finding their way in design, she didn’t judge any opinion I had. She was very open to other people's ideas. I worked really hard for her because she was a great person to work for. It was a positive environment, which isn't always the case at design firms. She's incredibly creative and thinks really far outside the box, which is something I aspire to do because not everyone is like that.
You recently collaborated with Five Four for swimming trunks that feature your photography. Can you tell us a bit about the photo you chose?
The collection features two pictures from the West Coast and East Coast - each has two beaches I identify with. The West Coast is in Manhattan Beach, three blocks from where I grew up. I rode my bike to Manhattan Beach pier every day and would obsessively take photos of my surroundings. That particular image is pretty iconic because it’s the first beach I ever went to; it’s where I gain inspiration, and why I love doing what I do.
The photo from Montauk (see above) is interesting – it’s on the East Coast, and it’s where I spent most of my summers in my twenties. It was always interesting to see surf racks in Montauk because you would never think of people doing that on the East Coast. To see a crew of guys dressed the same as the guys I grew up with – it feels exactly the same. The beach in the photo is called Ditch Plains, and it’s a huge surf spot. A lot of it washed away during Hurricane Sandy, and that changed the coastline a bit. This photo was taken after Hurricane Sandy.
Thanks for chatting with us Natalie!
The exclusive capsule collection for Nat en Voyage x Five Four will debut next Monday, June 6th.