Sarah Jessica Parker Describes the Most Meaningful Shoes in Her Closet
To say that Sarah Jessica Parker knows a little something about shoes might be the understatement of the year—the accessories savant has built herself an empire dedicated to her preferred accessory (we mean, her onscreen character's expensive taste in footwear left her out $40,000 and rendered her homeless, after all). So for SJP, a new season means new shoes, obvi, in new fabrications, like rich velvets, new blingy decorations, and new silhouettes (some slashed with scissors—but we'll get to that in a moment). And this time, the style icon has a new retail partner to boot—Amazon Fashion.
In a playful behind-the-scenes video (above), watch how SJP does on her first day at Amazon Fashion (spoiler alert: it's highly entertaining). But for the meatier stuff, we asked Parker to explain the design process behind her fall creations, where she looks for inspiration, and which pair of shoes in her closet holds the most meaning.
How are your fall designs different from anything else you've designed?
I feel like I say this every time we get a new collection delivered, but fall '16 is really something else. We played around with velvets for the first time—really rich, gorgeous, deep velvet hues—and they were a big hit among Amazon Fashion and our retail partners. We also experimented with different ornaments and jewels, even draping some across the back of a few silhouettes, like a backwards necklace. One of our boots, the "Fugue," was quite literally created by taking a pair of scissors to an older SJP boot that we wanted to update. And our ever popular "Tartt" Mary Jane has inspired a whole new family of shoes on our beloved 50-millimeter chunky heel, showing up in a variety of colorways, materials, and styles.
SJP Collection fall 2016 designs (from top): Minnie boot, Fugue sandal, Witness pump, Apres boot, Katrina pump; available on amazon.com Sept. 8.
What has been the weirdest place you’ve found inspiration?
I always keep my eyes open for inspiration. I'm not against going up to a woman in the airport or on the subway or in the grocery store and asking her if I can take a photo of her shoes. I've done it before and I'll do it again. Sometimes it's a color that I want to remember or the way a strap lays on her foot or simply the shape of a heel, color combinations that inspire or images of times past, shoes from the turn of the last century on. Sometimes it's just a painting at a museum or an illustration in a children's book that inspires ideas. Inspiration can come from the most surprising places and things.
My partner George Malkemus III is always finding bits of inspiration and collecting them to discuss during our design meetings. Sometimes it's a fabric swatch or a really great string of jewels. We think very similarly so I know if he's bringing something to me, it's going to be good. I'm also constantly buying vintage brooches and pins. They are often the inspiration behind the ornamented pumps you see in our collection!
If you had to choose, what’s the one SJP style you would wear forever? And why?
Don't make me choose! I simply can't. I won't. I will say I've been wearing our "Echo" boot a lot as of late. It's this perfect cross-over ankle bootie in this gorgeous soft gold leather that somehow goes with everything. She slips on and off and is more comfortable that you can ever imagine. Good in all weather for all occasions. We also just received our spring 2017 shipment and I've been testing out a few of those newest styles. All I'll say is that you're in for a treat.
What pair of shoes, in your own closet, is the most meaningful and sentimental to you and what is the story behind them?
I would say my wedding shoes. A pair of Robert Clergerie teal velvet almond toe pumps. And a pair of pink Manolo BBs my husband bought for me.