Nicole Trunfio is something of a motherhood muse. The supermodel made history with that iconic Elle cover, pictured breastfeeding her infant son Zion. It was a historic moment in magazine publishing, as candid and beautiful as it was talked-about.
Currently, she’s cocooned at her Austin ranch with husband, musician Gary Clarke Jr, son Zion, daughter Gia, and their newest addition baby Ella, just seven weeks old. And cocooned is the word. Not only is Nicole lapping up time in isolation thanks to the coronavirus outbreak – she’s also dressed without fail in her new maternity-and-beyond label, Bumpsuit. A curation of technically designed, high performance ‘jumpsuits’ that stretch and rebound with a mother’s changing body, Bumpsuit is designed to take the capsule wardrobe to new heights.
“Bumpsuit was born out of pure need”, Nicole explains. “I never felt comfortable during my first two pregnancies – comfortable, that is, with my style, and just comfort physically.” One look at her Instagram feed reveals those days are long gone. With Bumpsuit as her uniform, she’s elevated her effortless rock-chic style and embraced a simple, clean aesthetic that leaves room for personal flair through accessorising. And while Nicole’s signature nod to the seventies glimmers through, this is a grown up, polished, and glamorous take.
“I want women to feel chic, stylish, sexy and comfortable during pregnancy, and Bumpsuit hits every one of those notes”, Nicole attests. They might not be words regularly associated with pregnancy and postpartum – but something tells us Bumpsuit is set to change that. Goodbye to that awkward gap between the low-slung pregnancy pants and the hem of your tent-like top. There’s a new catsuit in town.
Nicole spoke to us about her motherhood journey, launching a business in her third trimester, and why she’s thriving in quarantine.
Launching a business in your third trimester is a pretty impressive feat! Why did you decide to launch Bumpsuit now?
It’s been a busy time for sure! I’ve worn Bumpsuit throughout my entire third pregnancy, pretty much every day. You could say it’s been thoroughly road tested! I’ve worn my usual size throughout every stage of my pregnancy which has proven to me that the fabric has what it takes to stretch as much as it has needed, and then back again (to a non-pregnancy shape). Postpartum, I have been testing out our Bumpsuit shape wear and postpartum support. I especially love the waist trainer support, it gives me that extra ‘oomph’ I need to feel energetic and get back on my feet. It’s definitely a game changer for me, as opposed to my first two pregnancies – I wish this was in my life then! Bumpsuit is so comfortable, pregnant or not, and with this quarantine, it’s the perfect outfit to be cozy at home in. Now is the right time, Bumpsuit is ready to be shared with the world.
What was the gap you saw in the maternity market?
Bumpsuit was born out of pure need. I never felt comfortable during my first two pregnancies – comfortable, that is, with my style and just comfort physically. I wanted to wear something that didn’t restrict my mid section at any point, I always felt like that gave me really bad acid reflux and made me just feel uncomfortable all round. I wanted something that was comfortable, that was stylish, and that was easy to put together. As mothers, we don’t have time to think about putting together outfits. My motto is “a bumpsuit a day….” it’s kept me looking pulled together and stylish every minute of my pregnancy, and it’s easy. I know what I am wearing that day, the next day, the day after that – I have enough to keep on rotation, and I just accessorize!
With three pregnancies under your belt, you know what pregnant women need. What were the key features you wanted Bumpsuit pieces to have?
I wanted Bumpsuit to be one continuous base layer, with no bands or seams that could dig into a mother’s precious growing bump. I wanted the fabric to feel luxurious and soft but sturdy, a fabric that supports and moves with the body as it transitions through the seasons of pregnancy and all other stages of womanhood. I wanted the quality to be better than expected, but at an accessible price point. I want women to feel chic, stylish, sexy and comfortable during pregnancy, and Bumpsuit hits every one of those notes.
You've courted some controversy in your time - from your iconic Elle cover breastfeeding Zion, to standing up to Naomi Campbell on The Face. Do you think motherhood has made you braver, or were you always so strong in your values?
Motherhood has made me more purpose driven. Everything I do now has to be important to me, and also has to serve the world in some way, to have value in my life. My family is my number one most important thing, so if it is taking me away from them it has to be well, well worth it, not just a vanity project. Bumpsuit is reaching women all over the world and making them feel great and confident. I hope that we can use this platform to give women and mothers the confidence and support they need during such a big life transition.
Many women either love or hate being pregnant. How do you feel about pregnancy?
Well, the only thing I hated about mine was my style choices, oh and the horrible morning sickness…. but Bumpsuit cured that. So stylish, no acid reflux on my third baby, and pure coziness to make feeling bad a little easier in the beginning stages. It’s a life saver for so many reasons!
How would you describe your personal style? Has motherhood changed it?
In a word, simplicity. I keep a small wardrobe now. I have a variety of Bumpsuits along with shoe and boot options, and coats or silk robes to throw over the top. Our launch range of Bumpsuits have a double layer, which hides all underwear lines and cellulite, so you could wear it on its own too if you like. I love the idea of not having to think about what I am wearing, and also not having to mess up my closet trying on things until I find the most flattering look. I know the Bumpsuit is going to look good, be functional, and feel chic.
What are your top three hospital bag essentials?
Slippers and a cozy robe, my favorite alcohol free cologne from Bon Point, panda licorice, makeup and skin care, and most importantly a Bumpsuit to leave the hospital in, with the Bumpsuit waist trainer to put on after giving birth. It really helps to ground you from having all of the air energy in your abdomen after birth, and it’s so supportive for breastfeeding.
When it comes to your kids, what do you worry about? What are you excited about?
I worry about their ears and what they hear, and how they perceive things. Children are very sensitive, and so I want to do and say things that will open them up and make them feel confident and as though the world is their oyster. I want them to feel like they can do anything! I’m excited to bond further and grow a friendship with my children. I want to be another person in their life, not just a parent.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
I think a major piece of advice, that I utilize daily, is that there is so much to learn in failing. I have really thought about what that means, and now embrace failure so openly, as there is so much gold and growth in it. I think we are scared to fail, but I am excited to fail now. As a society and culture we put so much emphasis on the winners, and reward them with praise and decorations, but we should also praise those who fail, because they have a lesson to embrace and learn, that’s more of a reward if you ask me.
What's your parenting philosophy?
Explain, explain, explain – don’t dictate, reason. I spend a lot of time watching my children, their motives, their motivations…they are so pure and innocent. It’s so easy as a parent to take on an authoritative role and just dictate to them. But I think it’s important to treat children and babies as equals.
What are you loving at the moment?
I’m actually loving quarantine, and I understand I am very privileged to even be able to quarantine. There are so many people out there that don’t have this luxury. It’s been a time to breathe. Yes, there is so much uncertainty, but Mother Earth needed time to breathe and so do we. I hope everyone can see the blessing in this, find time to recalibrate, listen to their own inner voice and be able to clearly see the next steps for them. It’s a time to re-invent!