EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Jessica Parker Talks Comfortable Heels, Hair Ribbons And Being 'So Freaking Short'
Confession: When we first learned that Sarah Jessica Parker was set to design a collection of shoes, pretty much every Lucky staffer simultaneously squealed in delight. After all, who better to dream up fanciful new footwear creations than Carrie Bradshaw herself?
News of the actress' new fashion venture leaked last summer, the first photos of the collection hit the interwebs in January—and earlier this week, I finally had the opportunity to preview the brand-new SJP line in person at a preview held at the new Nordstrom pop-up in NYC's Soho (Nordstrom is the exclusive distributor for SJP). Both the Sex and the City superstar and Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus, with whom Sarah Jessica partnered to produce the line, were on hand to field questions from press and potential customers alike—and I couldn't help but notice how hands-on SJP was as various editors tried on pair after pair, doling out advice and compliments aplenty. "I love how those pop against your black tights!" she exclaimed as one girl slipped into some red suede pumps. "George, you have to come see this!"
And about those shoes: they're going to sell like gangbusters, both among fans of the designer's hit HBO series and those who appreciate simple, streamlined, high-end shoes. After snapping pics of the styles on display, I caught up with the lady of the hour herself to discuss her stylish new career move. Read on for Sarah Jessica Parker's sage walking-in-heels advice, the truth about how often she actually wears towering stilettos and the adorable story behind the collection's signature pink grosgrain ribbon trim.
Lucky: As someone who's spent her fair share of time in heels, what top takeaways or tips do you have for feeling more comfortable in high shoes? Any tips for walking in them?
Sarah Jessica Parker: I don't know that the way that I choose to walk has any bearing on anybody else—our bodies are all radically different, which is what makes all of us so unique and special! But I do think that you should only wear shoes that you're really comfortable in. If you're not feeling presentable or confident, then you should find another pair that makes you feel that way. I mean, I don't think everybody does feel comfortable in heels, and that's part of what we tried to address in this collection. There are some flats and some lower heels. The Iva, for example, is deceptive—it doesn't look like much, but when you put it on it's such a beautiful shoe. I think you have to really feel capable in a shoe. I think the minute the shoe starts wearing you and dictating how you walk and move, you're just not going to feel like yourself!
Do you have a "magic height" when it comes to shoes—a perfect heel that works well for you in particular?
[Gestures to the Carrie style, which features a nearly four-inch heel] For me, this is where I want to be because I'm so freaking short! But I like that we've been able to do something slightly less extreme that still gives me the same feeling, the same height. The Tanny, for instance, is every bit as high—but because it's got a more substantial heel…
It's more comfortable and walkable?
So I have to ask: do you wear heels pretty much every day in your real life?
Well, I have three kids and I walk them to school every day, so I often don't wear heels. New York doesn't allow for it, the weather doesn't allow for it—so there are a lot of days when I don't wear heels because my life doesn't call for that. My life calls for other, more practical shoes. But that's what makes putting heels on feel so nice and special when it does happen!
The pale pink grosgrain ribbon trim on your shoes is so distinctive. What's the story behind that special touch?
When I was a little girl we had to wear ribbons in our hair every day. We had a bureau that was entirely dedicated to hair ribbons, and dominated mostly by grosgrain—we had some double-faced satin, some silk, some tartan and some velvet—but grosgrain was the one we wore every day, about an inch to an inch and a quarter thick. We had ribbons to match every outfit! And from the time I was about seven, we were responsible for ironing our ribbons every day, too. So when we first got in our shoe samples, with that bare, naked seam, I thought, wouldn't it be beautiful to put a piece of grosgrain up the back? It's a nice nod to my mother, very nostalgic, and it's a nice signature for the brand too. I love how great the contrast looks against all the colors in the collection—even if it don't match exactly, it definitely pops.
Click through above to shop Sarah Jessica Parker's first-ever SJP shoe collection! Which style is your favorite?