Talking Shoes With Sarah Jessica Parker

The fashion icon on her footwear history, the business of style and why comfort trumps all

Parker by Denise Truscello

Parker by Denise Truscello

She’s been a Square Peg, Honeymooned in Vegas and acted as a mensch to millions of women trying to have Sex in the City. After meeting her, it’s evident there is a lot of Sarah Jessica Parker in the roles that she plays: quirky, funny, smart and the ultimate bestie you hope shares your dress and shoe size. The actress recently visited the Shops at Crystals to host a two-day pop-up celebrating the collaborative effort between her SJP shoe line and Zappos Couture. While in town, she sat down with Vegas Seven and discussed her first big footwear purchase, what pair she’s saving for her daughters and whether an expansion into women’s wear is in the cards.

When did your love affair with shoes begin?

As a child, I got two pairs of shoes a year. We went to the same shoe store; we always bought from the same place. Occasionally, I got hand-me-downs and it didn’t bother me when I was young, because I thought this was how the world operated. Then I started earning money on my own and I could start buying what I could afford, and in 1986, a friend told me that her mom was hosting a trunk show of an emerging designer called Manolo Blahnik. I was shooting [a film] in L.A. I had no money and a green American Express card, and I bought six pairs. And I knew—it was so clear to me—this was a really beautiful, well-made shoe. I was in no position to buy those shoes, and was really reckless about it.

How did playing Carrie Bradshaw affect your relationship with footwear?

I probably wore more shoes in those 10-12 years than most people will ever wear in an entire lifetime. There were shoes from the turn of the century to literally right off the runway. We had someone standing in Paris at the Collections who handed the shoes to a courier service and they were in our hands the next day, and it would be on television or in the movie two or six months later.

Fashion in general is just such a crazy experience—that kind of access and opportunity to learn about the discipline and how things are built, the talent it takes, the time, the money, the energy and the amount of people.

Will you expand your brand to ready-to-wear or just stick with accessories?

There are lots of opportunities to expand and people have been really hospitable, but we want to shore up our base in the shoe category. We’re reworking our bag collection and it’s successful, but could be so much better. We have these candles, which have been surprisingly successful. I think [it’s important to] focus on that now and feel really good about that, especially as we have more and more retail partners and learn about that kind of customer. It really behooves us to stick to this category for a while.

Which pair of shoes would you hide away for your daughters in a hope chest?

A Carrie, obviously because of the connection and the sentimentality of it. There’s a new shoe called the Tart that I am in love with, which is sort of a real hearty Mary Jane, but we’ve done it in all these different fabrications. The Ursula, I’m quite fond of. This is the Naomi [pointing to the pair she is wearing; pictured above], which is like a classic d’Orsay.

Our next commander in chief very well could be a female. What shoe would be right for such a woman?

Whatever makes her feel good. There’s no right, there’s no wrong. The powerful shoe is what makes you feel good and confident. What makes you feel like a commander in chief? It [could be] a million different things. For some people, it’s just a Converse high-top, because that’s what makes them feel comfortable. For others it’s wearing a sturdy and appropriate black pump, because in their head that’s how you are taken seriously. Some people would disagree, but that’s me.

You feel best when you walk out the door just like you. And when you don’t have a concern about, “Well, that jacket looks great on her and everybody is doing that, so I should do that.”