Sunday, September 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

'Sex and the City' star launches her shoe line

Sarah Jessica Parker, whose hit show went off the air 10 years ago, talks to fans and shoppers at Nordstrom in Seattle. She and Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus III designed the shoe line.
Sarah Jessica Parker, whose hit show went off the air 10 years ago, talks to fans and shoppers at Nordstrom in Seattle. She and Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus III designed the shoe line.

She's tiny. Can barely finish a plate of berries.

She's left-handed. Says things like "No. Way." And to every person who approached her at the downtown Nordstrom shoe department in Seattle this month, she extended a hand.

"I'm Sarah Jessica," she said. "Very nice to meet you."

Sex and the City went off the air 10 years ago, but it doesn't matter to fans of the show and its star, Sarah Jessica Parker. They still watch it in syndication and have flocked to two big-screen films.

And they lined up for hours in Seattle to spend an average $300 on a pair of shoes designed by Parker and Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus III.

"It was all about the single sole, and no platform, no heavy shoe," said Malkemus, who is accompanying Parker on a tour of Nordstrom stores, the only retailer to carry the SJP Collection. (The Cherry Hill Nordstrom is the only Philadelphia-area store to carry them, but shoe lovers can also go online.)

Parker has been approached by many designers about a shoe line over the years, but she always dreamed of working with Malkemus. Friends urged her to call him one afternoon last year.

"This is crazy," she began their conversation.

"Be here tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.," he told her.

"She was my dream," Malkemus said of Parker's request that he collaborate. "It was a perfect dream."

After a year, the line was finished: 25 styles, all made in Italy, which start at $195 for the Billie suede flat and go to $485 for the Alison bootie. The line includes three handbags, $245 to $375, and a "Manhattan" grosgrain-trim-skirted trench coat in blue or beige, which costs $495.

Each shoe has a grosgrain ribbon up the back, a remembrance of the ribbons Parker used to wear in her hair, and iron, as a child.

Parker named the shoes for fashion icons, family members, and friends.

A T-strap heel called "Carrie" comes in black, but also purple and green - choices Parker has called "subversive."

As for the legacy of the character it's named for, and Sex and the City?

"I don't know what the legacy is. I think I am ill-equipped to answer that. That is one of the questions that I feel other people should answer."

About 500 of them waited for Parker in the first-floor shoe department, where Parker passed through a forest of raised arms holding cellphones and sat down to sign shoes, boxes, and tags.

Adina Sneed, a flight attendant from Arizona, was first in line. She was outside the store at 6 that Wednesday morning: "They said, 'Get here early.' "

Sneed was a fan from when Parker was in the television show Square Pegs and has followed her career from television to fashion to perfume and now shoes.

Sneed bought two pairs, which Parker signed, and then stood to shake her hand.

Nicole Brodeur SEATTLE TIMES
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected