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February 14, 2014

Welcome, Guest Editor Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker is bringing her unique point of view on fashion to The Thread and chronicling her adventures as a designer. Join the conversation on SJP and get access to her style inspirations and creative process. Take it away, Sarah Jessica:

HERO

Let me start off by saying Happy Valentine’s Day! Designing SJP has truly been a labor of love, and in only two weeks you’ll be able to experience the collection for yourself and see how hard I’ve worked on every detail of this line…I hope!

Countdown to February 28!

I’m thrilled to share some insight on my partnership with George Malkemus. Even though we are from different backgrounds, different ages and different genders, we both have this common point of reference: New York City, late ’70s, early ’80s. There was a very specific look from this era that is vivid in both our minds.

Strangely enough, a lot of our design process started not with sketching, not with tearing pages out of books or magazines or anything contemporary. Rather it materialized through memories…

I call her ‘Carrie’.

I recall being a younger girl in New York City, arriving in 1978, say, and looking around, as many young girls do, at women who were older and more sophisticated. They seemed to be cosmopolitan; they seemed to have an air about them I was convinced I did not have but seemed possible to acquire after time spent in this sophisticated urban city.

Just people-watching while sitting on the crosstown bus that went across 59th Street—carefully observing who got on and off, what they wore and how they carried themselves—the one thing that stood out, and has stuck with with me, was the simplistic beauty of leather goods and shoes at that time. There was an enormous French and Italian influence in our country then, and that is what I thought maturity was. It was an aspirational look I thought any woman could achieve once she was grown up, had money of her own and could make her own aesthetic choices.

George remembers that time very well. He, too, had come to New York around then, was a bit older and started working in the shoe business.

From leather to suede swatches to inspiring grosgrain, here’s a peek at how it all began.

We pinned down several key aesthetic and design elements that stood out in our memories, the first being the allure of the single-sole shoe. Then we talked about color and envisioning silhouettes.

Neither George nor I really sketch, at least not well enough to create a tech package to go to Italy. But we certainly had the foundation we needed to tell our story to Ricardo, who is crafting our shoes in Tuscany.

To be sure our visualizations from this period were indeed on point, we poured through magazines from the late ’70s and early ’80s to see if our mind’s eye was playing games or if there was a reality to what we were recalling. What we discovered was that proportions were really different. You wouldn’t actually want to reproduce shoes from that time because we were different people then. We had different influences.

“A shoe has to make you look beautiful. You can be wearing a simple dress, but if you have something exquisite on your feet, it becomes a perfect look.” —Maud Frizon, a source of inspiration

You have to think about the modern woman of today, what her expectations are, and what you want to do as a designer and marry these ideas. We worked from that point on. We looked at—oh, my gosh—I don’t even know how many heel options. In the shoe business, you can just have a box filled with heels, just heels, isolated. I mean every kind of heel you can imagine, in every height.

We had to figure out what the SJP heel was. I had an idea about doing not a kitten heel but a lesser high heel—what in the ’80s they might have called a “court shoe” or a “court heel.” Heels can change, even for a long-standing designer. Manolo recently changed his heel and it’s interesting to see. It’s like the wand of a mascara. Every woman has her own wand, and that type of versatility is necessary when launching a new collection. I wanted the shoes to be strong in color, and to toss away this idea of neutrals and ‘appropriate’ colors for the office and everyday, and give the customer something else and help her along the path of accepting my new neutral— asparagus, a flat purple, charcoal, geranium and French navy.

Behind the scenes from the SJP Collection photo shoot at Pier 59 Studios in NYC.

Honestly, the whole design experience has been an amazing process. I can’t break it apart, because I think it’s a lot like producing a movie, which I love so much. Every conversation is important because it all adds up. You’re in a constant state of revelation, a constant state of learning.

I suspect that the very best part of it all will be when I’m visiting Nordstrom stores throughout the month of March and watching a woman try on a pair of SJPs for the first timea woman I’ve never met but I’m going to learn about that day. I think that’s going to be, for me, the greatest part of this entire journey.

Until next time,

Follow the SJP Collection on Instagram & Twitter | Keep up with SJP on Instagram & Twitter
Share your excitement for the February 28 launch using hash tag #NordstromxSJP

Comments

Pip February 14, 2014 at 6:52 am

Looking forward to see what Sarah has in store for us…She is smart, sexy and beautiful and knows what a women likes and wants. Thanks Carrie!!!!

Roxanne February 14, 2014 at 9:15 am

I am SUPER excited for SJP’s shoe line!!!! I can’t wait!

Anonymous February 14, 2014 at 10:14 am

Will be online at 11:58pm PST to order my shoes.. Showing LOVE from all the way in AK. Can’t wait!!!

mmm February 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I cannot wait to use my tax refund on a pair of SJP shoes! :)

Jo February 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I am so excited about the SJP shoe line! Sarah captures what’s lovely and strong about women in the understated elegance of her heels. Can’t wait to see the full line! I wonder, if Sarah had one recommendation of what every woman should have as a staple in her closet, what would that be?!

Anonymous February 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I cannot wait for SJP shoes

Stephanie J February 15, 2014 at 5:36 pm

This is very exciting and I am so thrilled my favorite retailer NORDSTROM is apart of SJP. Big thumbs up.

Anonymous February 15, 2014 at 10:54 pm

If you pay attention to the above photos of Sarah, she adds on her bright “neutral” shoes to her neutral outfits – black dress, grey jeans, etc. to make a statement. Although a beautiful concept, it may not be for everybody. Excited to see her collection in person.

Ann February 16, 2014 at 7:03 am

I am waiting…. aaww

Sandy February 16, 2014 at 8:07 am

Can not wait, I walk with a cane after five knee surgery . My dream is to put on a pair of heals. I think I will try.

Danigirl February 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Sarah was the first iconic woman to break the bondage of fashion and dare to put her own individual mark on her outfits. We, NYC trendsetters were doing this at that time, in the late 70′s and 80′s. I loved her fierce defiance of the fashion shackles that bind a woman’s individual style and presentation. Her style resonates with me, as a young woman of that era, and I am so happy that not only has her courage to be herself, who she is in regards to her fashion statement, to mix the unexpected with the daring, triumphed, it is admired and coveted. As she looked to develop her own personal style, “her look,” she never lost sight of her fearlessness, never “sold out” to mass appeal. She is a style icon who has earned our respect, who has represented us, and who will now share with us her unique fashion.

AmyE February 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

I have always wanted to raid SJP’s closet. Now at least I can wear her shoes. I will treat myself to a pair for my March 3 birthday, and will enjoy with a Cosmo, of course!!!

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor February 16, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Cheers, AmyE…and happy early birthday! What could make a better present for yourself? ;)

Rachel February 17, 2014 at 6:20 am

Inspired, excited and hopeful that this collection will continue to grow. LOVE SJP. x

Wendy February 17, 2014 at 8:57 am

Congratulations, Nordy’s! This is a big deal. Now, what’s the countdown on the first Nordstrom store in NYC? With the iconic SJP as a partner, the time is right.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Guest Editor February 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Thank you all for your wonderful feedback. I’m really enjoying reading your comments.
In response to Jo’s wardrobe staple question: I recommend a simple black dress that can be worn for work and dressed up with a pretty necklace or fancier jacket for evening and easy transition. A jewel toned and well fitting cardigan can add a nice and unexpected color to a dress, jeans, tee shirt or even a polka dot blouse.
X, SJ

Christen February 19, 2014 at 8:27 am

SJP aka Carrie Bradshaw

How exciting for you and for us, am very much looking forward to seeing you embrace your wonderful eye for beauty. I couldn’t be happier for you Sarah
Wishing you an amazing grand opening and may you go from strength to strength…
I want 1 of every pair

With love
Christen

Princess J. February 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

Hi SJP aka Carrie!

I moved to NYC in 2007 by myself all the way from the Philippines. Me & my friends back home looovve Sex & The City. After class in undergrad, we all used to hangout in my apartment and watch each episodes. We are now in different parts of the globe and reunited on my both birthday last year where they came to NYC to celebrate with me. Of course, it was mandatory for them to do the Sex & the City tour (which I’ve done numerous times since all of my friends outside NY want to do it)! Moving to New York, I understood more what the series was all about. I have related to it much more and told my friends that a lot of it is a reality in the Big Apple.

Anyways, I saw you few years ago in the streets of Times Square area but was in shock that I never had the chance to even say Hi! So as soon I heard you were launching your shoe line, I was so ecstatic. I still have my 3 Bitten winter jackets (blue, red and green) that I love to wear all the time! I am looking forward to see you again and hopefully meet you! I am in such a big dilemma as to what shoes to buy. I love a lot in the collection but of course I can’t buy everything! I wish! (sigh) My question is, which is your MOST favorite pair in the collection?

9 days more to go and I’m beyond excited!!!

Love,
Princess J. (yes, Princess is my real name!)

P.S. What time will you be in the pop-up store? =)

Paola February 20, 2014 at 6:54 am

Please let us know what time will be SJP at Aventura Mall in Miami Thank You very much!!

Kimmy Yholt February 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

I’m super excited and elated to see what beauty SJP has in store for us. I am a huge fan, can’t wait to purchase my first pair of SJP shoes…..

Alicia February 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I’m so excited!!! I can’t wait to put my feet in a pair of these shoes. I’m a huge fan of Sarah! There are a handful of women I admire. Women who carry themselves with poise and grace and on top of that list is My mom, Audrey Hepburn, and Sarah Jessica Parker! I look forward to see what Sarah will bless the world with next! My husband is driving me to Nashville next weekend just so I can put my hands on a pair of these shoes…

Hotel book, bags packed, Nordstrom for SJP shoes priceless!!!

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor February 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Hi Paola, SJP will be appearing at Nordstrom Aventura Mall from 1:30-2:30 on March 8. Find all the details on the Aventura events page.

Paola February 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Thank You Very Much Jeff Powell for answer it!!!

linda February 21, 2014 at 4:24 am

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SJP LINE-HOPE THERE WILL BE SOME HANDBAGS–PLEASE VISIT THE VA.STORES LOVE AND BEST WISHES

maria February 21, 2014 at 8:48 am

Dear SJ,

Can’t wait!!! Bringing my daughter who is 16, and loves you as much as I do! You’re an inspiration!
xoxo

Jo February 21, 2014 at 10:49 am

Thank you Sarah! Chic and classic as always. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you when I am there March 5th with a pair of your lovely shoes in hand!

Ramona February 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Love, love, love the shoes. I saw the article in O magazine. When will SJP be appearing at the Seattle store?

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor February 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Hi Ramona, she’ll be appearing at our flagship on March 5. See you there!
- February 28-March 2 – Pop-Up Shop,
372 West Broadway, New York City
- March 5 – Nordstrom Flagship, Seattle
- March 6 – The Grove, Los Angeles
- March 7 – Michigan Avenue, Chicago
- March 8 – Aventura, Miami
- March 9 – NorthPark Center, Dallas

Cathy Surowiec February 22, 2014 at 5:18 am

Can’t wait..always a SJP fan! great smile, spirit, legs and now feet ! Shoes look beautiful , I’ll visit Indy store on 28th ! Congrats Carrie !

Hillary February 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Sarah, I wish you could come to Tampa . I have been waiting for your shoes forever and I won’t be able to go to the Aventura store. Could you add the International mall of Tampa to your tour? It will be so special to see you and buy your shoes.

Princess J. February 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Hi Jeff!

What time will SJP be in the pop-up shop in Soho on Feb. 28? Thanks!

Charlie February 22, 2014 at 10:05 pm

I am waiting with “bated breath!”

Jenissa February 23, 2014 at 10:03 am

I can not wait until the new SJP comes out!!!! I love everything that I have seen so far!

MICHELLE February 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm

OMG I AM THE BIGGEST FAN OF SJP!!!! I LOOOOOOVE YOU SO MUCH SARAH. YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATIONAL . I ALWAYS WANTED TO MEET YOU. I LOVE YOUR CHARISMA , PERSONALITY AND YOUR STYLE. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND YOUR SUCCESS. YOUR SHOE LINE IS GOING TO BE AMAZING AND I CAN NOT WAIT TO SEE THEM ALL :) I WILL ALWAYS SHOW YOU MY SUPPORT!! TEAM SJP !!! : ) AHHHH I’M SO NERVOUS ..LOL

Marcia February 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Wish I could see her shoes, but they’re not being carried at the Nordstrom store I shop at… Sarah, some advice – wear trousers at all of your personal appearances.

Bridget February 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I cannot wait for the launch of the SJP line! I’m a huge fan! Any thought to coming back to your hometown…Kenwood Town Center? Cincinnati would love some SJP style!

Qianna Smith, Senior Blog Editor February 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Hi Princess J, she’ll be at the pop-in shop at 372 West Broadway on Friday at 10am, Saturday at 3pm, and Sunday at 11am. Be sure to get there early!

Tamara Starr, The Franklin Beacon February 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm

I can not wait for this line to come out! I just wish that the launch can come to Natick, MA! But I am ready to purchase these shoes! They’re PERFECT!!!!

Princess J. February 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Thank you Qianna! I really appreciate it!

Lori G. February 25, 2014 at 7:21 am

With each shoe design, I’m sure you’ve given us a little piece of you and your memories. In advance, thanks for sharing. Wishing you continued success!!! Ps. Loving the signature grosgrain ribbon.

Lisa February 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

No visit to San Francisco? :( We West Coast gals love SJP just as much. Please do come!

Maureen M. February 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Can’t wait to see the SJP collection and hopefully meet her! My girlfriend and I are traveling all the way from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to Michigan Ave. location for March 7th! What time will she be there? We are so excited!

Desiree {CHIC COASTAL LIVING} February 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm

I’m so excited! I already know which pair I want to buy! XO

Qianna Smith, Senior Blog Editor February 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Maureen, sounds like a fabulous trip! SJP is scheduled to be at the Michigan Ave. location from 4:30 to 6:30PM. Visit Shop.nordstrom.com/c/sjp for more details on the date of the launch, which is this Friday.

Teena Lavu February 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Hello,
I live in MD and coming to the NYC pop-up store( 372 West Broadway, New York City ) on February 28. What time will SJP be there? I want to make sure my train gets there on time. I can’t wait to see the shoes!

Qianna Smith, Senior Blog Editor February 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Hi Teena, Sarah Jessica will be at the pop-in shop on Friday at 10am, Saturday at 3pm, and Sunday at 11am EST. Try and arrive early!

Sue in Chicago February 27, 2014 at 10:39 am

I can’t wait fro the new line of shoes from SJP!!

Carolyn February 28, 2014 at 7:50 am

I was excited to learn of SJP’s new line. The shoe preview kept me on my toes. Unfortunately, I am disappointed to see the expensive price tag. I like my share of leather bags and good shoes, but nearly $400 for pumps isn’t practical for me. I understand wanting to position yourself as high end but not even your Michael Kors or Kate Spade have all their shoes priced that high. The “Carrie T- strap” is absolutely gorgeous and would have liked to own a pair. I’ll have to pass.
Congratulations on your line! I think you’re awesome!

Chris February 28, 2014 at 10:26 am

When will SJP be at The Grove in LA? Love her and her new line! So excited. :) Thanks!

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor February 28, 2014 at 11:59 am

Hi Chris. March 6! You can find all the details on The Grove’s events page.

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