EARTH MOTHER - INTERVIEW
It is 6:30PM in Austin, Texas when I phone Australian supermodel, Nicole Trunfio. "Hello," she answers joyfully. "Can you hang on a moment please?," she says before I hear her speakly softly to her two-year-old son, Zion. "What's up bubba? I'm right here, I'm watching you play," she says to him tenderly. Picking up the phone, she says, "I'm sorry – Zion is playing up a little today. I think he's entering his terrible twos." By now, I know what you're thinking: "What? HER kid acts up? Bah! Surely not!" From the outside – or at least, from Instagram (@nictrunfio) – Trunfio's life is seemingly perfect. Trunfio and her family recently moved to a 20-hectare ranch in Texas, which she and musician husband, Gary Clark Jr. purchased late last year. But, having lost her father to a long battle with cancer, it becomes apparent that Trunfio's life isn't perfect – in fact, no one's is – but she has certainly found peace and contentment. When I ask her about becoming a parent herself, her face lights up. "Zion is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I think becoming a mother has softened me. It has made me very patient and conscious – I'm now conscious about who I am as a person, as a woman and as a mother. It’s made me conscious of the people who I want to surround my family and myself with. It’s also taught me how to prioritise what is truly important in this life—for the sake of my son." Trunfio adds, "Going through pregnancy and then birth definitely changes your relationship with your body." The 31-year-old reveals she had a natural home birth, which "was intense and I'll never do [a home birth] again" but says it was a small sacrifice to make as she watches her son play. "As mothers, our role is such an important role for humanity and society. What we do with our children shapes who we are as a race and as people in the world. Being a mother is so important because everything you do reflects on your child and who your child will grow up to be. Yes, I’m a very driven woman. I have companies and so many projects on the horizon but the things I do won’t ever overshadow my greatest role, which is being good mother."
Back to beauty and Trunfio is as real as it gets. "My beauty routine is lacking! I barely shower or look in the mirror anymore," she says. "Yet, I have never felt so beautiful. Loving my son and being present for my family, giving them 100% of me makes me feel truly, deeply beautiful."
Trunfio – who married Clark at Coachella musical festival in 2016 (best friends and models Jessica Gomes and Gemma Ward were official bridesmaids) – radiates warmth through the telephone and it is both honest and sincere. "I'm experiencing the best part of my life so far. I have worked so hard, had such a great career and so many incredible experiences, but now, every day brings something new, and I see it as a surprise." Adding, " I don't expect anything anymore, I'm somewhat content and fulfilled. I will never stop being creative and working towards by goals, but now I just feel this undertoneof ease. I'm just really happy."
Inside of the Clark household, which has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, study, formal dining room and games area, Trunfio says world and national issues including politics are discussed daily. Having taken part in the Women's March protest against President Trump in January this year, she says, "We are very conscious of the time we are up against right now." Trunfio admits, "My husband and I make a conscious effort every day to do our best to influence the world around us in a positive and forward-thinking way. I suppose our mixed race relationship is an expression of that on a physical level and our son is also a product of that."
That aside, Trunfio says, "Again, it's just about coming back to your purpose and place in the world. If Gary and I can teach Zion one thing, it would be compassion. Compassion is such a strong and grounding virtue that doesn't just better you but also the people and world around you."
Trunfio who is elegant and graceful but also tenacious and determined has also found passion as a jewellery designer; launching both Trunfio Universe and ERTH Jewelry. "Trunfio Universe is my luxury couture line while ERTH Jewelry is a diffusion line – it's 14-carat gold but with costume jewellery price points." When I ask, "Why jewellery?" she reveals, "When I was modelling in New York, I used to watch friends who were jewellers work." Eventually, they handed the tools over to Trunfio. "I started making pieces for friends and, to be honest, it grew organically from there. I'm amazed it's been so successful in such a short amount of time." Now, both brands are available on e-tailer juggernauts, REVOLVE and FWRD
This level of autonomy and the challenge of creating her own brands – rather than fronting campaigns for others – comes after years of exponential success in the fashion and modelling world. "My biggest career highlight is definitely working with Tom Ford and walking in the Gucci show. It was such a pivotal moment in my life and career and I got to see things through a different lens. [Tom's] impact on me has stuck closely to me through the years." To that end, Trunfio also calls out pinnacle moments such as, "Walking for Versace, fitting with Valentino and shooting with Peter Lindberg – I adore him."
As I'm completely transported, imagining the glamorous life that Trunfio has led, in a moment our conversation is suddenly innocently interrupted by Zion who is crying out. "What's up, my love? Would you like a banana? How about you play drums and I'll watch you play from here? Very good bubba." Already musically gifted – like his father – (no surprises there), Trunfio says her son loves playing drums, guitar and the harmonica. "It's wild, isn't it?. He's such a boy."
And so with her astonishingly beautiful and exotic looks, large home, loving young family and entrepreneurial ventures, it is safe to say that this Aussie expat is reaching high levels of success—but her head is remaining firmly on her shoulders. And, that is one of the greatest achievements of all.