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June 11, 2013

Sarah Jessica Parker Finds Her Sole Mate at Nordstrom

HERO

Last week, actress Sarah Jessica Parker celebrated two milestones: the 15th anniversary of the debut of Sex and the City and the announcement of the launch of her namesake label SJP, which will be carried exclusively by Nordstrom in early 2014.

As one might imagine, news like this set the fashion world ablaze with excitement and intrigue, as well as eliciting the obvious sigh of relief, as this is a venture that fans of her label-loving character Carrie Bradshaw have been long waiting for. Who can forget Carrie’s enthusiastic appreciation for high-end footwear, especially Manolo Blahnik? For many shoe-obsessed women, the on-camera romance between Carrie and her many pairs of Manolos was just as fascinating as her relationship with Big. And despite the popular TV show coming to an end in February of 2004, the real-life narrative between Sarah Jessica and Manolo appears to be just beginning. The style icon is designing her collection of shoes, handbags and trench coats in association with George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA.

Now that the news of this highly anticipated collection has finally broken, The Thread phoned Parker to get straight to the sole of the matter—the exquisite details of her latest fête in fashion.

A Polished Pair: Malkemus tapped Parker for a shoe collaboration with Manolo Blahnik in 2011 on a reinvention of the coveted ‘Carolyne’ style.

For many designers, creating fashion is not a choice like other career paths; it’s a calling. But for Parker, it’s more of an honor. “I thought about launching my own line for a long time,” she says. “It just feels like an enormous privilege to be doing it now with George and with Nordstrom, which is really my dream retailer.”

So why is Nordstrom the destination of choice for SJP? “Nordstrom has an impressive shoe history and such a vast knowledge about the shoe industry and the business of shoes,” Parker says. “Yet more importantly, its salespeople are incredibly informed. They love what they do, and selling at Nordstrom is not a stepping stone but an absolute career choice—and that kind of partnership is really moving to me.”

The Nordstrom way of customer service also sealed the deal for Parker. “I had great success at Nordstrom with the launch of my first fragrance Lovely, and I still have great memories of that relationship. The value placed upon engaging customers and the way the stores function were really some of the main reasons I wanted my fragrance sold there.”

Bitten by the Fashion Bug: Parker dons looks from her Bitten line and generates a buzz for Halston Heritage while wearing the brand for the promotion of Sex and the City 2.

Parker’s first hands-on design experience was with the price-friendly line Bitten for Steve & Barry’s in 2007, followed by Halston Heritage in 2010, where she did a year-and-a-half-long stint as president and creative director of the label’s secondary collection. “I had opportunities to produce collections in the past, but this particular idea [of SJP] is much more personal, because it is not working in partnership with anyone else,” she says. “It is much more the story that I want to tell—versus trying to make someone else’s ideas come to life. And it’s not that this [approach] is better; it’s that this is much more a personal endeavor.”

The four-time Golden Globe-winning actress’s collaboration with Malkemus and Nordstrom is sort of a match made in shoe heaven. Malkemus is a well-informed merchant with three decades of experience at Manolo Blahnik, and Nordstrom intimately understands the buying pulse of its customers. When we asked Parker about what this dream team hopes to bring to the market in terms of craftsmanship and innovation, it was clear that the question of having a competitive edge will come down to the actual shoe production.

“We’re really thrilled to be producing our shoes in Italy, which sets us apart from a lot of other brands that have abandoned the market because of pricing,” she adds. “It was very important and exciting to both Scott Meden [EVP and GMM of shoes] and Blake Nordstrom that we saw value in producing in Italy, alongside other top shoe manufacturers in Europe.”

When it comes down to the actual design of the shoes—which will include over 30 styles and range from flats to pumps—Parker and Malkemus will be referencing past influences while innovating through their own unique and personal points of view on style.

Oh, Mary! Carrie Bradshaw gasps when seeing Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes in the Vogue closet: “I thought these were an urban shoe myth!”

You may think that Parker’s love affair with shoes began on Sex and the City, but it really started in her youth with her mother Barbara, who passed down to her eight children the appreciation for well-crafted footwear. “We couldn’t always afford the things my mother thought were beautiful and would have wanted for us, but we were made aware of what caught her attention,” says the Nelsonville, Ohio–born star, who reflected fondly on her childhood. Even though Parker has miles of shoes in her closet, she hasn’t forgotten the days when she and her siblings received three pairs of shoes a year, one pair always being a classic patent leather Mary Jane. Visiting the shoe store as a child was a big deal for Parker and remains so to this day. “I always smelled the shoes because the leather smelled so good, and I still do. I still always smell a pair of shoes when I go into a shoe store,” she says.

Très Belle Inspiration: House of Charles Jourdan evening shoes from 1981 and Maud Frizon leather boots from 2002.

Although the mother of three does not have any formal design training, she received a crash on all things fab during her time on Sex and the City. “When I worked on the show, I was all of sudden exposed to a much larger selection of designers. The clothing, shoes, bags and accessories were such a big part of our storytelling that I became very familiar with new and established brands and became much more versed in vintage. So my education grew.”

Clearly, Parker knows her ABCs of fashion history today. When looking for inspiration for the collection, she referenced the archives of two French pioneers in shoe design: Charles Jourdan, the first shoe designer to advertise in magazines back in 1930, and Maud Frizon, a model-turned-designer who became known for her cone-shaped heels beginning in 1970.

Bonjour, Paris! The style icon is snapped at the Louis Vuitton fall ’12 show during Paris Fashion Week.

So when did Parker first discover these cult-classic Parisian labels? “I’ve known about these two designers since I first moved to New York in the late ‘70s. And it’s not specific design elements that drew me to them, but rather how each designer stuck to an idea—a DNA—and had a clearly defined story,” she says. “There is a consistency to both brands that is remarkable and stands on its own. The color combinations and just the femininity of these shoes are exciting to me.”

The excitement that Parker has for Charles Jourdan and Maud Frizon is the same excitement she wants women to have about her own label. “Hopefully, women will be able to tell from the first collection that I’m inspired and that I’m serious about it. This is isn’t something that I’m sort-of-kind-of involved in. I’m involved every step of the way.”

Parker is carefully examining the comfort, fit and quality of each shoe. “I want customers to be delighted with how the shoe is presented, how much care we’ve taken, the unique color combinations and even the shape of the heel. Ultimately, I’m striving to produce a shoe they haven’t yet seen on the market.”

Great Lines from Sex and the City: “The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then, to make the walk a little more fun.”—Carrie Bradshaw

Plan on seeing Parker at a Nordstrom near you for the unveiling the collection, estimated to range from $200 to $375. The Hollywood trendsetter tells us that she is “making it my business to do public appearances for the launch next year.”

We’re sure that fans and curious shoe addicts will be lining up for the many meet-and-greets she’s planning. The fashions and viewpoint that Parker expressed through the character of Carrie Bradshaw still resonate with so many women that the interest in the line is already undeniable. Carrie was all about helping women understand their relationships with men, and now her ability to build customer relationships as a designer will be a large part of the line’s success. Considering that Parker has the relationship edge both on and off camera, we anticipate that her designs will spark meaningful dialogue for many months to come.

Tell us: Are you anxiously waiting to slip on a pair of SJPs?

Qianna Smith

[Photo Credit: Superiorpics.com; Charles Jourdan shoes Metmuseum.org; Maud Frizon Metmuseum.org; Fanpop.com; Fanpop.com; Michael Nagle for WWD.com; People.premiere.fr; Polyvore.com; Dcclubbing.com]

Comments

Anonymous June 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

Amazing

Rose June 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I will anxiously awaiting to slip on pair!! Definitely!!

ShoeCloszet June 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Yes! I have been intriqued since it was announced. It’s also nice to see a lower price point than I was anticipating. Yayy SJP!

Connie June 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm

That is awesome!! I cannot wait!!

xox
Connie

Ashley B June 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Can not wait! I hope she makes a stop through Houston. I will be there.

Anonymous June 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I am so excited!! I love Sarah Jessica Parker and Nordstroms! I can’t not wait to pick out my first pair!

KaRmyn June 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I love shoes! Love SJP and her fab style can’t wait for this shoe line… Hurray!

Ana June 11, 2013 at 4:45 pm

So excited! Can’t wait for the release of the line!

Anonymous June 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I really hope Sarah Jessica Parker offers her line in extended sizes (size 11 and Up), as Nordstrom is known for offering a large selection of these shoes from designers. It would be a shame if her line ended at size 10 (or 11 for that matter) like everyone else.

Anonymous June 11, 2013 at 5:48 pm

So exciting!

Sydnee June 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Now, myself and most women around the world, can finally have a piece of Carrie Bradshaw in our closets!! So excited for this partnership!

Victoria June 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm

I can’t wait for Sara Jessica Parker shoe Line to hit Nordstrom!!

Anonymous June 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Can not wait!!!!!!!!!!

Maureen .O June 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Absolutely looking forward to SJP shoes. I know they will be outstanding, fun and exquisite. I still picture her in Sex and the city, the style in every piece whether is clothes or shoes. She is simply gorgeous too. can’t wait!!!!

Anonymous June 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Hopefully they will be in size 4!

Lisa Rae Martin June 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm

This is SOOO exciting! Can’t wait to see SJP’s collection! I’m hoping there are many choices for ladies who need to be “sweet to their feet.”

Tiffany June 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm

She will bring a unique look and quality back to fashion! I can’t wait!

SJP FAN June 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

ecstatic to slip into a pair of SJP heels;)

Lily Miramontes June 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Can’t wait to meet her & buy a pair !

Karrie June 13, 2013 at 6:18 am

I am SO excited!!! I hope she comes to Portland!!!

Marcia June 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

No, I don’t intend to buy her shoes. All my shoes come from Nordstrom and they are all gorgeous. But I will never spend $200+ for SJP shoes.

Jenn June 13, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Beyond excited. It’s all my wildest dreams coming true….2014 can’t get her fast enough!

Stacey June 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Super excited. She is fab and I can’t wait. SJP is classic and I know her shoes will be nothing less. They are gonna be great.

Claire June 14, 2013 at 5:45 am

I hope she comes to the pnw, I’d love to meet her!

Jane June 14, 2013 at 9:57 am

I am the woman that’s always looking for the pair of shoes that’s made in Italy and does not cost $600+. She’s filling in the gap of good shoes between $200 and $600. L.K. Bennett is doing the same thing and is in the same price range, however definitely does not have the craftsmanship of true European made shoes. Manolo shoes have amazing wonderful and godly fitting that i hope SJP can just somewhat combine the craftsmanship and price for a good product. Totally looking forward to this collection.

Lily June 16, 2013 at 2:16 am

Is there any way we can find out if she is going to make speacial apprearences at different stores to promote the shoe line .

Stina June 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Starting to save up for them NOW. Cannot wait to slip on a pair of SJP’s!!!

Jeff, Blog Editor June 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Hi Lily, the dates and stores are not confirmed, but SJP will be making an appearance at a handful of stores across the U.S. We’ll be sure to announce when everything is confirmed. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous June 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm

First heard about this on the SATC bus tour in NYC last week. Sooo exciting!

Lynn June 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Oh please..oh please..oh please make a fabulous pair of flats for those of us who just can’t do the heels anymore…

ZipStyleSeattle June 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Excellent news – I’m interested to see what direction they take.
http://www.zipstyleseattle.com

Zapatitos September 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Wonderful she is coming out with a line of shoes, however, $200+ is a little too high, for a pair by SJP. Now, Manolo shoes, I understand…not SJP. How about she turns down the price a little, like Jessica Simpson…….

Mrs. CCS September 15, 2013 at 1:26 am

A wonderful pairing – (pardon the pun!) Nordstrom and SJP! Ms. Parker is a style icon and I look forward to seeing her no-doubt fabulous collection. I predict a stampede at my local Norstrom’s the day her line debuts!

Anonymous December 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm

So excited for this. Hopefully I will be able to purchase a pair or two, but I’m from Australia. Does Nordstrom deliver to Australia??.

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor December 13, 2013 at 10:18 am

We do ship to Australia. Here is our page on international shopping for more information.

klik hier December 22, 2013 at 6:03 am

This blog looks great! Go on this good work and please write some more stuff like this. u can al so see ours 2.

Patrice January 3, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Don’t laugh but one of my main thoughts were are they going to be made in China like most “celebrity” designers. Good for SJP! I might actually try a pair on now.

Anne Marie January 4, 2014 at 8:52 am

I almost can’t wait! I am so excited! Can’t wait to see the Collection!
By the way, referring to a prior comment, Jessica Simpson makes her shoes in China and they are not all leather–SJP Italian made shoes will be all leather–there is no comparison–like comparing a Chevy to a Mercedes.

Ellen January 6, 2014 at 9:44 am

That’s awesome!! I wish that you have small size for Asia women as well.
We all love shoes!!!!!!!

Lyna January 6, 2014 at 11:42 pm

Here is a case where age doesn’t matter……….I am old enough to be Carrie’s Mother, but her shoes make me feel young!

PAM AKA MRS BIG January 8, 2014 at 6:31 am

SOOOO EXCITED TO SEE SJP’S COLLECTION!!! I HAVE THE BLUE WEDDING SHOE SIGNED BY MANOLO HIMSLEF AND WOULD LOOOOOVE TO HAVE SJP SIGN EACH AND EVERY PAIR I PURCHASE FROM HER COLLECTION!! SHE IS MY NUMBER 1 FASHION ICON!!! FOREVER!!!

VV January 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I love SJP style. I can’t wait to see her shoe
collection at Nordstrom. I hope her collection
doesn’t cost that much like Manolo.
Nordstrom is the best department store.
Thank you SJP for choosing Nordstrom.

An adoring fan January 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Cannot wait for the line…hopefully clothes will follow.

Julie January 13, 2014 at 9:46 am

Please give us the size range – Hoping for small sizes … 4.5?!!? Anxiously awaiting the debut!

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor January 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

Hi Julie, the SJP Collection will come in European size 35-41 and 42 (whole and half sizes, excluding 41.5). That’s U.S. size 5-12 (excluding 11.5).

Winnie harrington January 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I can hardly wait to have one of those thank you SJP

Lin Fowler January 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

SJP has a perfume (Lovely) that smells so good everyone notices with one sniff! Ms. Sarah please bring this back along with all your irresistible fashions. Love Nordstrom and Love you as well; Wow what a combo!

Heather January 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I am so sad to learn that they won’t be sold at the Nordstrom at the Mall of America?!? Please tell me I heard wrong :)

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor January 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Hi Heather, Nordstrom at the Mall of America won’t carry SJP shoes at our launch, but I’ll let our shoe team know where you’d like to see them for any future expansions in our stores. And don’t forget, they’ll also be available online.

CHARLOTTE January 22, 2014 at 8:48 am

I love Sarah. I’m so glad she is doing shoes, I love her style. I’m driving to LA from Phoenix to meet her.
Love You Sarah

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor January 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

What better reason for a road trip, Charlotte! Save a little extra trunk space for some new shoes. ;)

Missy January 23, 2014 at 12:06 am

I’m looking forward to seeing the line what happened to narrow shoes for narrow feet we love shoes shoes too!!!

Shoes r 4 me January 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

OMG. I love SJP I still watch all of Sex and the City and both movies I am a shoe fanatic I can’t wait

Anonymous January 28, 2014 at 12:49 am

Hi there! Most exciting :-) as I will have to buy online, will the sizing be exactly the same as Monolo sizing? I will feel more confident if its the same :-)

Sheri January 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I am so excited!!! Love SJP! Can’t wait!

AlysseNicole February 7, 2014 at 8:33 pm

I stumbled upon the latest news of Sarah’s line, that is about to release later this month. I am beyond excited to see what she has in store for us (pun intended)! I have always loved her as an actress & her sense of style and can’t wait to see her latest endeavor very soon! Unfortunately, the Nordstrom locations closest to me, did not make the “appearance” list- but I learned how to haggle at a very early age(thanks Mom&Dad), and should have no problem talking my hubby into a road trip AND a pair of shoes or two! I have my fingers & toes crossed on getting to Chicago, without our Midwest weather interfering!!

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor February 8, 2014 at 12:33 am

AlysseNicole, we’ll be crossing our fingers for good weather for you as well. We couldn’t get the SJP line into every one of our stores, but we’re definitely glad to hear that won’t be deterring you from a road trip. Enjoy your travels with the hubby. And consider bringing an extra piece of luggage for some new, fabulous shoes (and maybe a little something from our Men’s Department to thank your spouse for understanding how important this collection is)! ;)

Erin February 25, 2014 at 2:32 am

Hi there! I’m so keen for the 28th!!! Ill be purchasing for sure. Could you please advise if the sizing is just the same as Monolos? I have two pairs and would feel confident if they were the same fit. Ill be buying online as I live in Australia.

Rita February 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

They are beautiful and nothing less than I would expect from SJP. However, I just wish designers could make shoes the average working girl could afford. :(

Princess J. March 1, 2014 at 6:16 am

Worth the wait! I got my own SJP shoe collection! George, SJP and the whole crew was so awesome yesterday at the Nordstrom Pop-up Shop in Soho, New York!

Check @princessweetah in IG for the scoop!

Bev April 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Hello. I was wondering when will the shoes be available in Atlanta !?

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor April 13, 2014 at 11:08 am

Hi Bev, I don’t have a date for any additional store locations at the moment, but you can check our SJP Store Locations page for the most up to date info…and, of course, you can always shop SJP shoes online in the meantime. :)

Susan June 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm

SJP Will you please make your shoes to fit narrow feet sizes 6 and up PLEASE! Love You!

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