31 posts tagged "Sarah Jessica Parker"
It’s been a decade since the ladies of Sex and the City last kicked off their stilettos. But even after all these years; a pair of blockbuster films; and a very real re-examination of what it means to live, date, and shop in New York, few women define our relationship with shoes like Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manolo-sporting Carrie Bradshaw. This week, the actress will launch a line of her very own with (who else?) Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus. The wares are simple, single-soled, everyday pumps, flats, and sandals that will retail in the $300 range at Nordstrom starting February 28. No sky-high spikes or flame-embellished mules here. Just Italian-crafted (save the Spanish-made espadrilles), warm-hued basics meant for the women looking for a taste of Carrie’s sartorial adventures. We sat down with Parker and Malkemus to talk about why color is the new neutral, what it takes to design the perfect—and not too cheap, not too pricey—heel, and how the SJP shoe philosophy has evolved over the years.
How did the collection come about?
Sarah Jessica Parker: The opportunities had been orbiting and I kept having a hard time saying yes—and that puzzled me. I would honestly lay in bed at night and think to myself, “What is the problem?” And I went to lunch one day with a group of successful women, and they were encouraging me to do a shoe line. They said, “Well, what’s the problem? You have all this money and all these opportunities.” And I said, “It’s just not about that, obviously. Do you know what? To be honest, what I would really love is to be a partner with George.” I didn’t know him super well, but we had spent the past twelve years working together on Sex and the City and I certainly admired his business and the way he conducted his relationship with Pat Field and me. And they said, “Why don’t you call him?” And I said, “You know what? Screw it. I’m just going to be brave. Because the worst he can say is ‘no.’”
George Malkemus: Which I didn’t!
SJP: And so began this thrilling conversation.
Can you tell me a bit about the concept behind the collection?
SJP: We wanted to revisit the single sole—where did it go? We found, much to our delight, that our reference points are the same, and we had an idea of this particular woman in our head. She wears color as a neutral and doesn’t think black totally is necessary. “Appropriate” footwear was not something that we were interested in. And we thought of all those great shoemakers from the late seventies, all those wonderful shoe stores…that’s how it all began. George found us a great shoemaker in Tuscany.
GM: Third generation.
SJP: We found a great person in Spain to make our espadrilles—to really make the shoes the way we wanted at a price point I felt comfortable with.
The shoes are an investment, but they’re not unobtainable.
GM: That’s the key word! Investment. That’s the thing we want to have. If you have a pump from Sarah Jessica’s collection, five years from now that pump will still be in our collection in many different colorways.
SJP: You shouldn’t feel regretful when you look in your closet and think, “Boy, that feels out of fashion.”
Well, these shoes are simple. There’s nothing super-trendy about them.
SJP: That wouldn’t be something I would do well.
GM: And I don’t think that’s what I would want us to do. I take personal offense when a woman spends huge amounts of money, and then after a certain amount of time, feels like she can’t wear it. Or, if she walks into a party and someone says, “Oh, my God! You wore those last wedding when so-and-so got married for the first time! And now they’re getting married for the second time and you’re still wearing the same shoes…and you’re still not married! Because you bought those shoes!”
SJP: Wow! What an amazing leap to those connections!
HBO’s forthcoming documentary The Battle of amfAR won’t air until December, but its debut screening at the Tribeca Film Festival last night certainly managed to draw a crowd, with Uma Thurman, Harry Belafonte, and Fern Mallis all coming out in support. Mallis—a founding board member of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS—told Style.com that she remembered giving amfAR one of DIFFA’s first grants, back in the eighties, to buy a refrigerator. These days, amfAR can afford its own iceboxes. It’s also evolved into one of the world’s leading funders of AIDS research, and the charity’s work and donations have made many new therapies available. And, of course, it’s amassed an impressive roster of celebrity endorsers—heck, Sarah Jessica Parker chaired its New York City gala in February.
But one mustn’t forget amfAR’s first famous patron, Dame Elizabeth Taylor. The Battle of amfAR chronicles Taylor’s work with clinician Dr. Mathilde Krim in mobilizing during the early days of HIV. In the film’s opening moments, Taylor addresses a congressional committee on the burgeoning AIDS crisis. In a voice-over, the late actress explains that she watched as, one by one, her friends grew ill. “And so I thought, Bitch, do something!”
After the film, Kenneth Cole moderated a Q&A with Krim and amfAR CEO Kevin Frost. Krim, now 86, received a standing ovation as she took the stage. Cole asked if she has ever felt hopeless in what seems to be a never-ending battle. Said Krim: “No. I’ve never felt like throwing in the towel. From the very beginning, my feelings, my anxieties, my hope are the same as they are today. Is that a good answer?”
After a seven-year hiatus, Fall ’13 marks Kenneth Cole’s much-anticipated return to the runway. And he’s using his NYFW presence to do some good. This season, the February 6 amfAR (Foundation for AIDS Research) gala will serve as fashion week’s official kickoff. And Cole, who has been an AIDS activist for twenty-seven years and currently serves as the charity’s chairman, has teamed up with Sarah Jessica Parker to create twenty limited-edition amfAR clutches. “It’s the ultimate women’s evening bag,” explains Cole, noting that SJP has become a friend and collaborator in regards to the amfAR initiative. The black snakeskin clutch is big enough to carry “everything you need, but no more,” and includes a wallet designed to hold a mirror, credit cards, your mobile, and, of course, a condom. “It suggests the importance of looking good and, at the same time, being safe,” says Cole of the bag, which will feature inscriptions of Parker’s name and the phrase “We’re all potential carriers” on its gunmetal frame. One bag will be auctioned off at the amfAR gala, along with a special SJP experience. (The exact nature of that experience is still TBD, but Cole hints it could be dinner.)
A version of the $1,000 bag (all of the proceeds from which will go to amfAR) will also feature in, and be sold live during, the designer’s February 7 runway show, which will be broadcast across various social-media platforms. As for his return to the runway, Cole says “I’m excited to be doing it in a way that offers people a unique experience. You can be in the front row wherever you are, and, hopefully, enthusiastically be a part of it.” But Cole also asks for his fans’ help—every time an @KennethCole follower tweets with #KCRunway, the designer will donate $1 to amfAR.