INTERVIEWS

The Interview — Nicole Trunfio, Model and Founder/CEO of Bumpsuit, Erth Jewelry, and Erth Swim

Model and Founder/CEO of Bumpsuit, Erth Jewelry, and Erth Swim

Welcome to Talking Top 10, a recurring series in which we feature the founders, CEOs, creators, and leaders who are shaking up their industries. Ahead, read our Q&A with Nicole Trunfio, and keep scrolling to shop her Top 10 must-haves.

Born and raised in Australia, Nicole felt an entrepreneurial calling from a very early age. She began her professional career as a model, working internationally with top brands and couture houses, an experience that allowed her to develop an interest in both the creative and business sides of fashion. Always honoring her creative spirit, Nicole studied jewelry making and went on to spend time working with various jewelers in New York City. After honing her design and technical skills, she launched her first brand, Trunfio Universe.

In 2016, ERTH Jewelry was born—fine jewelry that's expertly designed and crafted for everyday wear. The customer is of the utmost importance, and ERTH allows for one to develop personalization and curation of their own distinct style and look. In addition, sustainability is a key tenet of the brand; all of the gold used is recycled, the stones are ethically sourced or repurposed, and packaging is optional.

In addition, Nicole has built Bumpsuit, a chic alternative to maternity wear which she launched just after the birth of her third child. Starting as a base layer providing comfort and function, the brand has grown to include shapewear for maternity and postpartum support as well as dresses and separates.

Follow Nicole, Bumpsuit, Chef TrunfioERTH Jewelry, and ERTH Swim on Instagram for more.

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July 19, 2021

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R&S

Walk us through your journey in the modeling industry. How did it all begin?

Nicole

I got my start in modeling winning a series of competitions in Australia that went from state and then to a National competition which led to the Ford Supermodel of the World. I was the runner-up and received a big contract in New York at the ripe old age of 16! After a long conversation with my parents and my principal at school, we decided it was best for me to go to New York!

When I moved to New York, Tom Ford discovered me and changed my life, casting me in the Gucci show in Milan. Everyone listened and watched what he was doing, so by casting me in his show, I ended up being cast in every major show, as well as my first editorial in US Harper’s Bazaar shot by Patrick Demarchelier shortly after. The rest is history!

R&S

Looking back on your career, what are you most proud of?

Nicole

I’m most proud of my work ethic and professionalism and the feedback I received from the clients I worked with. Over the course of my career, clients always praised me for my work ethic and that I never complained, was a really hard worker, and moved really well in front of the camera. Hard work is definitely something that I value in other people, so to have other people value that in me was what drove my desire to work.

View Nicole's Essentials

R&S

Tell us about your favorite campaign of all time.

Nicole

There are three that stand out to me. I loved shooting the Karl Lagerfeld campaign. It was a very special experience working with him, and he photographed the campaign as well! I also really loved working with Richard Avedon—we did a Kenneth Cole campaign. It was so incredible working in that kind of format. It was very different from modern-day model and photographer dynamics. I loved doing the Dolce & Gabbana campaign too. It was my very first campaign and was shot by Steven Klein and it was crazy!

R&S

What led you to expand into the business world and start your own brands? Can you tell us about them?

Nicole

I think I always wanted to be more than a muse for someone else. While living in New York, I took courses at The New School as well as other classes to continue my education. I really have a passion for business as well. I love collaborating with people behind the scenes, and funnily enough, I am more comfortable behind the scenes. Starting my own business was just a natural progression.

I see the journey of my modeling career as fashion school. I saw the way ateliers worked and how the businesses brought collections to fruition and was a part of that journey in a way. I kind of figured out the areas that I always felt passionate about and felt organic to me. The main goal of what I do is to empower women, so every company that I embark on has that undertone. Now, I feel more like I am doing what I should be doing with Chef Trunfio, Bumpsuit, and Erth jewelry.

R&S

You’re a model, entrepreneur, mom, and so many other things. How do you balance it all?

Nicole

I think the most important thing is to love what you do. It’s easy to find a balance that way. I love my kids and family so much and my business, so the balance is in my relationship with both. I don’t put one before the other—I just find time for both of them when it's the right time. But, I don’t really do anything else! Both of them need a lot of attention and are a lot of work. 

Bumpsuit Pamper-Me Set

Bumpsuit Pamper-Me Set

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R&S

What does your beauty routine look like?

Nicole

I am really simple—a less-is-more type of person. I try to be conscious about products and make sure they are products that work for me. I use a mixture of natural products and sometimes products that have hyaluronic acid or ingredients that can be really hydrating and rejuvenating, but I keep it very simple. I don’t do too much! I do love Furtuna Skin and January Labs—they are both really great. I also love Augustinus Bader’s Rich Cream. That cream is beautiful! Those are my go-to's.

R&S

What’s your all-time favorite form of self-care?

Nicole

I love working out and then doing a really good body scrub followed by a decadent moisturizer. And an early night! I also use Doterra Therapeutic Essential Oils for emotional balancing as well. There are so many different varieties of oils that do different things and have healing properties and vibrate on a different frequency. It is the most nurturing thing out there. There is nothing I feel more nurtured by than those oils.

R&S

If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Nicole

Bumpsuit! 

R&S

What’s your best advice for aspiring models, entrepreneurs, and women in general?

Nicole

Think outside of the box, redefine boundaries, take risks, and do what you love the most!

R&S

What’s next for Nicole?

Nicole

Expanding the Bumpsuit brand, traveling around the US for Erth Jewelry curated ear events, and bringing Chef Trunfio content to a kitchen near you!