Carrie Bradshaw, “Sex and the City’s” shoe-loving character played by Sarah Jessica Parker, is often credited for familiarizing the masses with luxury footwear labels Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. Now the 48-year-old Parker, whose head-to-heels style off-screen rivals that of her most famous character, has launched a signature shoe line in partnership with Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus. Parker’s namesake SJP Collection debuted Friday and consists of 25 made-in-Italy shoe styles ($195-$485), three handbags ($245-$375) and one trench coat ($495), sold at Nordstrom stores and nordstrom.com. The collection seems like a Cinderella fit, for obvious reasons.
How long have you been wanting to design a shoe line?
For the past 10 years, people have been offering me this opportunity. I kept saying “No,” and I couldn’t figure out why… Ultimately, I was sitting at a lunch with a couple of [business] friends, and they said, “What do you want?”
I said, “I don’t want to make a shoe that costs $69.99, because I know it’s not going to be a shoe that I can talk about with true enthusiasm and affection. It’s not going to be a shoe that will last five or 10 years, feel really good on the foot, and tell the story that I want to tell.”
And they said, “Who would you want to be in this business with?” I said, “George Malkemus, whom I’ve known for years now. I think I know his taste… [With their encouragement], I went home, picked up the phone and said, “Would you ever consider being a partner in a shoe business with me?” He said, “Be at my office tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.”
How did you and George connect on a concept?
We both came to New York in the latter part of the ‘70s, and that particular time period in the shoe business was really exciting. There was everything from Bonwit [Teller] to Maud Frizon, Charles Jourdan, Ferragamo, Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards and Stuart Weitzman. It was the era of the single sole [a shoe without a platform], and that kind of went away. What I wanted to do is to revisit that single sole that can look so feminine and beautiful and sexy on a foot … to go back to a simpler time [and colors like] matte purple, aubergine, asparagus…
Finish reading all about SJP’s Manolo Blahnik hook-up at LATimes.com