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Sarah Jessica Parker talks shoes in Chicago

By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco

RedEye

7:05 PM CST, March 7, 2014

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We all know her as Carrie Bradshaw, the "Sex and the City" character who had a great love affair with New York City, her friends, writing, fashion and ... shoes.

Sarah Jessica Parker stopped Friday in Chicago to promote her new shoe line, the SJP Collection at Nordstrom.

RedEye sat down at the Michigan Avenue store with the actress, who wore a cream dress, pearls, sheer stirrup tights and strappy nude pumps.

Shoes from her new collection, priced from $195 to just under $500, have names. She wore the "Carrie," of course.


A lot of celebrities attach their names to products. Can you tell me how involved you were in designing the shoes?
Well first of all, I don't think of myself as a celebrity. I've been a working actor for almost 40 years.

On principle, there isn't anything that I've been involved with whether it was fragrance or Halston or this that I am not at every single meeting, on every single phone call, splitting every single atom, touching, feeling every single sample, looking at every version opportunity for grosgrain, trying on every shoe, at all the fittings, in meetings as the samples are arriving from Italy, every single marketing conversation, every single design conversation about the popup shop or how we’re building out at every Nordstrom store.

It's the way I produced "Sex and the City." It's simply the way I am. I have no interest in giving my name and walking away and being asked to arrive back when something's finished.

How long have you worked on this shoe collection?
It's been over a year in the making.

How would you describe your shoes in three words?
I would say single-sole, color, beauty.

Who do you see as your target customer?
I purposely don't want to have one. I think this is a cross-generational collection. This is a collection that can be worn by a 14-year-old. It can be worn by an 87-year-old, or an 89-year-old or a 92-year-old. ... We've had customers literally probably from about 15 to 80. I think that speaks to the variety in the collection, to the wearability of it. ... I wanted the price to be as affordable as we can manage given that they're made in Italy and that they're well made, handmade. But we also want it to be in someone's closet and that they should be able to pull it out in three or four years time and it will be relevant and still feel good, still be in great shape.

Would Carrie wear them?
Most assuredly, most assuredly. Yeah, I mean I can't imagine Carrie not choosing to wear that shoe (a purple strappy pump appropriately named Carrie). Definitely. ... Yes, I think there's lots of options for Carrie, but for other people as well.

How was Carrie able to afford all of those shoes?

But she wasn't and we talked about it endlessly. ... She was reckless. She was constantly in a state of not being able to afford what she chose to spend her money on. She had countless opportunities where someone forced her to look at the reality of how she chose to spend her money. It was, I don't think, something she was often proud of. But it was a fever that she seemed to not be able to control. She had four or five successful books so I think that when those came along they were helpful. But I think she was profligate.

A lot of people refer to you as a style icon. Whose style are you loving at this moment?
There are a million women who cross my path on a subway platform or on the F train or looking out the window today in Chicago at the streets here, or incredible women who I saw in Seattle and Los Angeles. And I say this completely in a genuine way. I am most inspired by the women I see on the street. ... I think that's what's exciting is when somebody walks out the door feeling like themselves and it just looks great on them. I might never be able to pull it off but it's inspiring to see.

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