It’s not often you get a chance to meet your favorite fashion icon, much less have her recognize you for your own sartorial choices. But that’s exactly what happened when I spent five minutes with the fabulous Sarah Jessica Parker who was in LA to present her new shoe line at Nordstrom at The Grove.
Throughout her years of playing Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City,” Parker became synonymous with fearless fashion. And walking in heels. So it’s only fitting that the woman who made Manolo Blahnik a household name would now be making shoes with the brand’s CEO.
The SJP Collection is available exclusively at Nordstrom and features 25 shoe styles ($195-$485), all handcrafted in Italy, as well as three handbags and a trench coat. As soon as I saw Parker walk through and greet the crowd, I knew that she’d be as down to earth, sincere and fun as I could’ve ever hoped. Here’s a snippet of our conversation covering Carrie, her collection and my cargo pants.
How much has Carrie influenced your sense of style and the way you are?
“I think that obviously playing that part has been influential in lots of ways … some sartorial, some aesthetic, and some just in the way I view friendships, how I want to conduct my relationships, mistakes I don’t want to make, efforts I do want to make. It’s impossible to distinguish between all those important things, but it was certainly a joy to play somebody who had such affection for fashion, who was so reckless.”
Did she inspire you to be a little more daring?
“I’m sure that I summoned courage that I might not have had I not played that part. I was never as bold as she was. Never. But I think probably the greatest influence is the friendships and how deeply those were felt, how committed and loyal she was. It certainly made me want to be a better friend all the time. Those are the most important things, right?”
Absolutely. Those are the things that genuinely carry you through life.
Along with the shoes, the SJP Collection includes a trench in two colors and several leather handbags. Do you plan to expand the collection?
“Not expansion, just normal, smart prudent growth. We have tons of gorgeous new bags coming. We have new pre-fall bags in more colors; we have new boots for fall, new colors of existing items that we’re establishing as essentials. We’ve already finished all of fall … way more bags, tons more colors.”
Are you actually designing these things?
“Yessssss! It’s me and George [Malkemus]. That’s it. That’s the team.”
So everything truly is you?
“Everything is me. There isn’t anything I’ve ever done in my life that isn’t me. The fragrance, the …. it’s always been me at every single meeting, every conversation, every telephone call, every conference call, every photograph, every spool of grosgrain, every stitching and color, everything!”
I love that you pay homage to your childhood with the grosgrain accent on the heels. It’s very much your own signature.
“Yes, thank you. Growing up we really didn’t have much money, but my mother always made sure that my sisters and I had grosgrain ribbons in our hair. It’s personal to me, but also provides a distinct detail that others will recognize.”
OK, they’re telling us it’s time to take pictures. Although I look terrible since I’ve been up since 5 o’clock this morning.
“You look great. Wait, were you on a treadmill this morning on TV?”
Yes. Good Day LA.
“OMG I saw that! I saw that! I recognize your cargo pants. So adorable! You were on a treadmill hooked up to a …”
“Yes!!! To see if you could do a proper mile, like the marathon mile.”
Yes. It was a treadmill challenge.
“And you got lifted in the air. It was hilarious! I loved it!”
OMG Sarah Jessica Parker actually saw me on TV?! I can officially retire now.
To shop the collection: www.nordstrom.com