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Profile: Rosie Pope

An Upper East Side maternity-store owner adds reality-TV star to her list of accomplishments.

  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

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  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

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  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

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  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

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  • Photograph: David Giesbrecht

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  • Photograph: David Giesbrecht

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  • Photograph: Heidi Gutman

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Photograph: David Rosenzweig

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Three years ago, when Rosie Pope was pregnant with her first child, the former model, dancer and neuroscience student was shocked at how paltry her options were for maternity clothes. She soon discovered she wasn't alone. "I think a lot of people designing maternity wear have crazy ideas about what pregnant women want," says Pope. "You get these dresses with bows and polka dots. But just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you want to look like a baby yourself."

The fledgling designer launched Rosie Pope Maternity, which Pope describes as a line of "clothes you would wear when you're not pregnant that are made to fit when you are." Her uptown boutique (1265 Madison Ave at 91st St; 212-608-2036, rosiepopematernity.com) has become a go-to spot for fitted jeans, cashmere sweaters and sexy wrap dresses made to flatter a growing belly without compromising an inch on urban style.

Thanks to its white-glove service and gratis virgin cocktails, the shop's also got that only-in-New York cachet. "Our customers are excited to be pregnant," says Pope. "For them, buying maternity clothes is a rite of passage, like shopping for a wedding dress."

She expanded her offerings last year with MomPrep, an academy that features childbirth and parenting classes as well as prenatal yoga and Pilates. This month, Pope's no-nonsense pedagogy will hit prime time with Pregnant in Heels, a new Bravo reality show that chronicles her quest to deliver to pregnant women the kind of ultraluxe service her shop provides (see "Inside Pregnant in Heels").

Much of her advice, she explains, is culled from her own experience as a busy working mother of two boys—J.R., who is 2, and Wellington, who was born in February. "You have to know when to put down the BlackBerry," she says. "When you get home, it's quality time. My sons know that when I'm with them, I'm really with them."

Inside Pregnant in Heels

"Women come to me to design their pregnancy, so to speak, with wish lists of everything they want to accomplish before they give birth," says Pope. "The show is really about that: sixteen of my craziest high-end clients, who have more outlandish requests than anyone could ever imagine, and me preparing them for what's ahead."

The series, which has a Millionaire Matchmaker feel to it, highlights a powerful exec—who plans to return to work soon after her baby is born—and her clueless husband, whom Pope coaches to be a stay-at-home dad, as well as a woman who dreams of giving birth in an haute couture gown.

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