ALL POSTS Interviews

Behind the Scenes: O, The Oprah Magazine x SJP

Marilyn Monroe believed that if you “give a girl the right shoes, she can conquer the world.” But what if a girl didn’t know which shoes were right? This was precisely the predicament Gayle King and Adam Glassman faced in the February issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, on newsstands now. The duo sought out Sarah Jessica Parker to give them the ABCs on her eagerly awaited namesake collection, touted as the market’s hybrid answer to affordable luxury. The lesson learned: Women rule when wearing SJP shoes!


Let’s Talk Shoes: A meeting of the minds at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo, New York City.

“When I learned that Sarah Jessica was launching this shoe line, I thought, Why don’t we do a style adventure feature with Gayle, our editor-at-large, and myself, where the three of us walk through the SJP collection?,” says Adam, O‘s creative director since 2000. “I thought it would be fun to create an atmosphere where two girlfriends come together for a day of shopping, learning and trying on shoes.”

Adam went for a cozy tea-party setting and filled a sunny suite at Manhattan’s Crosby Street Hotel with decadent French pastries and cronuts (a fusion of a croissant and doughnut created by chef Dominique Ansel). “There’s this delicious quality and sensory feeling you get when touching a shoe, feeling a shoe, trying on a shoe and parading around in a new pair of shoes,” adds Adam, who also worked with Sarah Jessica on her first clothing venture, Bitten.

“Women have such an emotional connection when they’re buying shoes that I wanted the environment to tie in. Sarah Jessica and Gayle know each other, so there was a great comfort factor to begin with. Sarah Jessica has so much to say about fashion and so much to say about accessories, and Gayle is a shoe freak. I think on this shoot, in particular, Gayle honestly died and went to shoe heaven.”

How Do You Take Your Tea?: Sarah Jessica enjoyed her tea with honey and of course cronuts, which she describes as “so sublime.”

After 94 episodes and two feature films of Sex & the City, Sarah Jessica found plentiful opportunities to channel her inner Carrie Bradshaw into a fashion line, but it has always been about designing the right product, not just any product.

“I think what’s really exciting about these shoes is that there has been a gap in the marketplace for really beautiful Italian-made leather shoes that don’t cost an arm and a leg,” says Adam, who also expressed his excitement over the departure of chunky, platformy monster shoes and the return of the single-sole shoe. “This is a mid-range shoe that still looks like fashion; it’s very well made and comfortable, which is hard to find, so I’m just so impressed with these shoes.” Further, Adam assured us that you can expect to see SJP shoes back in the pages of O after this in-depth feature that emphasized how a great pair of shoes can enhance your entire look.

I Choose You: Two of Adam’s favorite styles are the ‘Carrie’ [top right] because “the modified T‑strap makes every foot look long and lean,” and the ‘Etta’ which reminds him of the oversize flower pins that Carrie Bradshaw wore.

When we reached out to Sarah Jessica to get the scoop on her day with O magazine, she revealed that Gayle was one of her first friends to try on the entire collection. “I was so happy and relieved to see how beautiful the shoes looked on her,” adds the style icon—currently starring in Amanda Peet’s Off-Broadway play The Commons of Pensacola.

“[George Malkemus and I] were able to convince Gayle that colors she never considered were not only suitable for her life, but also flattering and wearable. It was an opportunity to talk about inspiration, colors, silhouettes and how they suited different women.”

Sarah Jessica has played many characters in her illustrious career, which began at the age of 8, and the role of fashion authority is one that she now seems groomed to play. Adam divulged that many style lessons were learned at the shoot, such as to think of color as a neutral. “I’m sure we all have closets full of black and brown shoes. And Gayle learned from Sarah Jessica that you can mix colors. Not everything has to be matchy-matchy. It only clashes if you yourself believe it clashes,” Adam says, confirming that old-fashioned shoe rules are so over.

Get a sneak peek of Sarah Jessica’s afternoon with Gayle and Adam on and save the date for the arrival of the SJP collection, exclusively at Nordstrom: February 28.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Jake Rosenberg of The Coveteur