News & Runway

INTERVIEW WITH YUMMIE TUMMIE FOUNDER HEATHER THOMSON

Now, I love Spanx as much as anyone, but they can also be very constraining, and they aren’t exactly discreet. Now there is another option in Yummie Tummie, a line of innovative shapewear designed by entrepreneur Heather Thomson. As a designer and stylist for over 20 years, Thomson was an influential creative force behind P. Diddy, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Lopez’ fashion lines before combining her design and styling expertise to create the Yummie Tummie brand. Think of Yummie Tummie as a sexier version of Spanx that you can wear everyday and feel comfortable and confident in.

 
 
tFs got the chance to chat with Thomson about what to wear post-baby, celeb fans, dream clients, and more.
 
Q:  What are the problem areas most women complain about? Which pieces from your collection can best tackle those areas? 
 
A:  All Yummie Tummie tanks have the patented three panel design system that comfortably slims and supports your middle – that dreaded muffin top area!   
Yummie Tummie was created to smooth, shape and make a women feel sexy.  I personally found that the words sexy and shapewear simply could not be used in the same sentence, and my question as a designer was “why not?” Yummie Tummie is about celebrating women of all shapes and sizes, from XS to 3X, helping them look and feel their best. I like to say this is shapewear, not shamewear.
 
What’s great is that you can determine which tank is best for you based on your style and preference.  Our tanks have different strap widths so you can find  the best and most comfortable fit. We also have the Yummie Undercover which covers the 3-panel tricot with a cotton overlay, so it truly looks like your favorite tank.  And with Yummie Tummie, you always wear your own bra. 
 
This year we also expanded the collection to shaping bottoms, to give you that coveted hourglass shape. From our sexy Camie Pantie to our shaping briefie, I designed the brand for un-dressing as much as dressing.  If you want to feel super sexy and slim in your favorite dress, you can also wear our new Slippie or Teddie.  
 

 
Q:  What piece from your collection would you recommend for someone who has just had a baby? 
 
A:  The core awareness and support you get from all of the styles is a great help for a new mom. Plus Yummie Tummie gives you a welcome confidence boost, at a time when a lot of us need it most, with a stylish and sexy garment that also slims and shapes you.  You want to show it off! 
 
I’m a working mom of two, and it was through the eyes of a frustrated consumer that the Yummie Tummie concept was born. After my first child, Jax, I needed some help while I worked on getting my pre-baby body back.  But all I could find was shapewear that chaffed, rubbed, rolled up, pinched and pushed, and was antiquated. My answer was to create a modern and innovative breakout brand in a category that has spent too many years secreted away.  
 
The nursing T is designed specifically for nursing moms. When I was pregnant with my second child, my daughter, Ella, I remembered feeling so uncomfortable having to expose my midsection when I was nursing. So again, I designed what I wished I could find – the Nursing T that provides core support, which helps all of us moms bounce back, and has discrete snap down panels on the bust, making it easy to nurse.  
 
Once you’re done nursing, I recommend the Skinny Tank, to give you that same core support. The stretch cotton of the bust works with all different sizes, and the straps are wide enough to cover your bra straps. 
 
 
Q:  Can you reveal any of your celebrity clients who wear Yummie Tummie? 
 
A:  Before creating Yummie Tummie, I helped launch the fashion labels of superstars P. Diddy, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Lopez, and I’m honored to count them as fans of Yummie Tummie. Some other Yummie celebrity fans include Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Eva Longoria, Kelly Ripa, Gayle King, and Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian.
 
Q:  Do most celebrities wear some sort of shapewear underneath their gowns when they hit the red carpet?  
 
A:  They absolutely do – celebrities have the same ripples and bulges as the rest of us, they just know that shapewear improves a women’s silhouette when worn as a foundation.  The great thing is that “foundation” doesn’t have to mean ugly or uncomfortable anymore — you don’t have to compromise comfort or style while improving your womanly silhouette.  Working with gorgeous, shapely stars like Jennifer and Beyonce, I have a real appreciation for a very feminine, curvy shape.  And beautiful, sexy pieces like the Slippie or the Teddie enhance and support that shape, giving you the confidence to show it off.  
 
Q:  How did your background as a stylist help you with building your brand?
 
A:  Yummie Tummie allows every women to be comfortable, fashionable and sexy all at the same time.  Every piece of my collection was designed with that in mind.  I only want to wear what makes me feel good.  My Camie Pantie is both sexy and has built-in moderate control to slim the tummy, my Peek-a-Boo Cami is a full body slip that looks so good you could wear it as a dress, all 3 pairs of my Yummie Tummie bottoms – shortie, briefie and thong – are slim and smooth.  If worn over a pair of tights, they’ll make you feel like Lady Gaga or Beyonce performing on stage.  
 
In a way, Yummie Tummie was a return to my roots as a lingerie designer. And being able to tap into all of the knowledge, wisdom and experience I gained working with amazingly talented entrepreneurs like Diddy, and Tina Knowles, has inspired me to make my own company a success. 
 
 
Q:  Your line was featured on Oprah. How did that come about?
 
A:  Jenny Altman, Oprah’s fashion editor, discovered Yummie Tummie and introduced us to Oprah, who immediately got it – she made us one of her “Favorite Things”  which was a great confirmation of everything that I put into the design.
 
Q:  How important was being on Oprah in the fast growth of your brand?
 
A:  Yummie Tummie really strikes a chord with everyone who hears about it. We all want something that makes us feel as good as we look, and Yummie Tummie is designed to do exactly that, stylishly, comfortably, and effectively.  So Oprah was a great opportunity for us because it helped spread the word to a large number of people, all at once. And it came at a wonderful time because the brand was less than a year old.  She really helped put us on the map… but what is keeping the brand new and fresh is that we continue to evolve and are making new products with every new collection.  Our Maxi dress is coming this summer, and our fall collection has some beautiful, key pieces that everyone can look forward to. 
 
Q:  You’ve recently gotten into ready-to-wear with a handful of tops. Can we expect slimming pants? Are there any other apparel expansions in the works you could give us a sneak peak into?   
 
A:  We are thrilled about the fall collection “Glam Rock” which is filled with several chic ready-to-wear styles that incorporate a great fall palette of merlot and sage. You’ll see chains, corset-styling, and the much-anticipated Yummie Leggings, which are a fashion must-have basic. You’ll be able to choose from two styles – cotton, and our tricot, which has a sheen to them. They shape your tummy, hips, thighs and tush, giving you fashion and function.
 
Q:  What about Yummie Tummie for men?

A:  It’s here. RIPT Fusion http://www.riptfusion.com/ is like your favorite t-shirt on steroids. The RIPT uses compression technology, and our patented three-panel design. So the mid-section supports and controls, while the neckline and placket are soft cotton, just as stylish as a traditional t-shirt. The RIPT Fusion gives men a fashion-conscious choice that is equally at home under a suit or at the gym.