It’s fair to say that few people enjoyed themselves more at Bloomingdale’s recent “Makeup Date” than Heather Thomson, who emceed the Sunday morning event at the White Plains store.
“Give me a mike and a stage and I’m good to go,” she says. “Plus, I love makeup. I’m a real beauty girl.”
But Thomson – a star of BravoTV’s “The Real Housewives of New York City” – was also touched to see the onstage makeup models wearing pieces from her Yummie by Heather Thomson ready-to-wear line.
Yummie consists of her signature three-panel tank, panties, hosiery, shapewear, leggings and denim, designed to give women a sleeker, smoother but also more breathable, flexible line.
“The brand is about the essentials,” she says. (What, no bras? They’re coming in the spring.)
It began when Thomson – founding design director for Sean John, Sean “Diddy” Combs’ line – was attempting to lose the baby weight from son Jax and daughter Ella Rae, now 9 and 6, respectively. Scouring the department stores yielded only grandma girdles that pinched, bunched and rode up.
“I’m not a sausage,” she says. “I don’t need a casing.”
So Thomson, who’s also worked with Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez on their fashion lines, got to work on a three-panel tank that became the basis of Yummie. Thomson holds 12 patents on the tank, which she mentions perhaps not so casually: Yummie recently sued Spanx over patent infringement.
Thomson came to fashion through her lifelong love of the arts. Growing up in Hudson, N.Y., with a father who was a musician and a mother who lettered signs, Thomson learned early how to flip up her mom’s sewing machine to make her own creations. Her mother also made sure she knew her way around a washing machine as the little fashionista enjoyed changing her clothes several times a day.
Thomson’s love of skiing was fueled in part by the outfits. After graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in communications, she worked for a bathrobe company before joining Calvin Klein. She says she hopes someday to sculpt, but in a sense that’s just what she’s doing with her shapewear.
Today, the chief creative officer of Yummie has two full-time careers. She’s also one of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” which recently wrapped its sixth season. Thomson makes her home on the Upper West Side with husband Jonathon Schindler and their two children. Jax was born with biliary atresia, a rare and life-threatening liver disease, undergoing a liver transplant at 6 months old. It’s one of the reasons Thomson has sought to help others less fortunate, working with the American Liver Foundation, the New York Organ Donor Network, the City of Hope cancer research hospital and The Kellner Family Pediatric Liver Disease Foundation. Ten percent of the proceeds from sales at “The Makeup Date” went to The Kellner Foundation.
It’s a lot to juggle two careers, a family and charity commitments. But Thomson – a warm, down-to-earth person – has some common-sense advice for those willing to try.
“You can be on the treadmill, but you have to control your speed.”