2012 October 11
You may know Heather Thomson from The Real Housewives of New York, but you might not know about her history in the fashion industry. Plus, some intriguing insights into navigating life on, and after, Bravo fame, and a new way to think about shapewear (beyond sausage casing!).
What's your fashionable backstory?
Working for houses like Calvin Klein and Polo Jeans, I got really into the denim world. Then I went on to help launch celebrity brands: I was the founding director of design for Puff [Diddy Combs] with his Sean John collection, and the co-creative director of Jennifer [Lopez's] Sweetface company. Then I went on to launch House of Dereon with Tina [Knowles] and Beyonce [Knowles]. I was their co-creative director for four years; we named that brand together. I had my kids while working with Tina and Beyonce, and then the idea of Yummie Tummie was born!
What'd you learn from your first season on The Real Housewives of New York?
It was an experience! There is risk in it and I like to be in control of things. You don't really know how editing is going to go. I had to put a lot of trust in the network. I had goals: it was a platform for my brand, Yummie Tummie.
Did they portray you accurately?
The editors have a very difficult job. They tape us to death! They said viewers had a hard time getting to know me. My dad died right as I started filming, and this is not an audience with room for dark or sad stories, so I was a downer. The second reason I did the show was a platform for organ donation. My little guy had a liver transplant at only six months old. It's now my lifelong work to bring organ donation awareness to the general public.
During part one of the reunion show, you made up with Ramona. Will that last?
It's up to Ramona! If Ramona truly wants to be my friend, then she has to do some work on herself.
She's a very outspoken woman!
If Ramona is going to grow and move forward, then I'm going to be there to support her. Outspokenness can be a positive character trait, but you have to keep manners in mind. Being outspoken is good, but being outrageous is not. Look at Carole and I. Our scenes were just as entertaining yet nobody had to take a Valium or a Klonopin to watch the show!
What do you think of Jill Zarin's response to getting "fired" from the show?
I don't pay any attention to Jill Zarin. I'm not interested at all; I have no ill will.
Will next season highlight more Yummie Tummie and your business life?
Yummie Tummie was portrayed fairly on the show [this season]. I didn't want to be 'Ramona Pinot Grigio.' Yummie Tummie is a unique idea and changed the shape, pardon the pun, of the classification. Shapewear isn't about pouring yourself into a sausage casing for a reunion or wedding! It's about the essentials of dressing.
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