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Sarah Jessica Parker: “I Wore More Shoes in a Day Than Any Human Wears in Their Lifetime”

Ever since Carrie Bradshaw stepped into her first Manolo Blahnik, fans have waited with baited breath for the real Carrie Bradshaw—the inimitable Sarah Jessica Parker—to create a shoe line of her very own.

Finally it’s happened, with the help of none other than George Malkemus, CEO of Manolo Blahnik, and Nordstrom. ELLE.com got a look at the collection today and we are happy to report: It does not disappoint.

We sat down with the lovely SJP to learn more about the shoes, Carrie’s relationship with shopping versus her own, and what she thinks of Instagram. (SPOILER ALERT: you may be surprised!)

You’ve come up with names for the shoes. Names that are actual people’s names!

SJP: Well some are living, breathing, contemporary people, and some are named for people, and some are simply names that I loved and I thought that, well, I’d never get to use them for daughters! I think I’m really pretty much complete in that department.

The Silvia was named for a character I played in an A.R. Gurney play about 18 years ago. I played a dog called Silvia. The Brigitte is named that because it reminded me a little of the era of Brigitte Bardot. Maud is inspired by the great Maud Frizon. There’s the Etta. There’s this myth that Audrey Hepburn’s real name was Etta.

I love the detailing on the back. Tell us about it?

SJP: It’s this grosgrain detail, which is on every single shoe. When I was growing up I had to wear hair ribbons every day and we had a bureau dedicated [to them]. Primarily we had to wear braids every day, we could also wear loops, which is a braid kind of tucked into itself. But we were required to wear ribbons every day and iron them ourselves and for the most part our everyday ribbons were grosgrain. We also had some satin, we had some tartan, we had velvet. The velvet was for special occasions. So early on when George and I were working on the design, sitting on the floor of his office, I said, “George, do you think we could put grosgrain on the seam? I thought it would be a nice detail.” And it’s turned into a nice sort of way of identifying ourselves, you know?

Do you relate to Carrie’s love of shoes?

SJP: I mean she sort of has a more reckless relationship with them than I do. I feel funny saying this, I’m not really a shoe shopper. I’m not going to go out and buy hundreds of pairs of shoes. I’m much more thoughtful than [Carrie] is, which is also one of the treats of playing her all these years. But because I wore more shoes in a day than any human wears in their lifetime, I learned an enormous amount about the business and in many ways from George who was so generous to us over those many years.

What was the biggest surprise during this process for you?

SJP: There were a lot of surprises! Just expanding your education. What you think you know versus what you actually learn. Maybe the biggest surprise was what we could do given the price point which I thought was going to provide a lot limits that would feel frustrating to me. We were very cognizant of where we wanted to land, and I kept saying to George, “Can we afford that, can we afford that?” And there are things we simply can’t right now, but it’s also kind of nice to have those kind of boundaries in some way because it keeps you truly focused.

GM: They’re artisanal made shoes. They’re probably about 90% still made by hand.

SJP: We have pictures on our Instagram page that I run from Tuscany!

That’s great that you’re on Instagram!

SJP: Yeah, yeah! Every day, we’re up to 20,000 followers.

Do you like social media?

SJP: I have an ambivalent relationship with it. It’s certainly interesting, and I’m not great at promoting myself but it’s been fun to find a way in quietly and politely and get to talk about the collection in a way that I felt comfortable with. It’s just myself and my assistant, Alyssa. We do it ourselves every day.

Can you imagine your daughters in heels yet?

SJP: I can because clearly they can. They’re very, very into what choices they make for clothing and their shoes and their hair and their hair accessories. I wasn’t like that growing up at all because I wasn’t given choices. I was given a set sort of uniform from which to choose. And that was it. And then I just had hand-me-downs. Despite my work outside the house when I’m home they typically only see me in whatever is appropriate to take kids back and forth and run in and out. We don’t talk a lot about fashion. So it’s been very curious to see that develop on their own.

SJP launches at exclusively at Nordstrom and Nordstrom.com on February 28, 2014

Photos: Getty Images; SJP Collection

Also see: Sarah Jessica Parker SJP 2014 Shoe Collection

Source: elle.com (http://www.elle.com/news/fashion-accessories/sarah-jessica-parker-shoe-line)

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