Fans of the HBO sitcom Sex and the City have been relating to Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw, for nearly twenty years. One aspect of her personality that has transcended the show itself is her love of shoes. Famously, the Carrie Bradshaw character had a closet that would rival any high end shoe store in New York.
The popularity of the character allowed for many name brands to leak into the popular consciousness. Names like Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Shoo were once known only to fashionistas. Thanks to Sex and the City those names became synonymous with luxury throughout the whole country.
Remember Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City’s shoe-loving protagonist? New York’s best-dressed journalist had barely enough cash for day-to-day expenses, thanks to the $10,000 worth of designer shoes in her closet, from Manolo Blahniks to Christian Louboutins. Most viewers salivated over her collection of impractical footwear, and the dreams of many SATC afficionados are finally coming to life. Sarah Jessica Parker, the actress who portrayed our beloved Carrie through six seasons and two movies, is getting ready to unveil her shoe line.
Unlike Carrie’s collection of sky-high heels, however, Parker’s new line, SJP, will place comfort and affordability as high on its list of priorities as style and quality. She told O, The Oprah Magazine, “These heels are high, but not like you’re on stilts. There’s nothing sexy about not being able to walk.” Nobody knows it better that Parker, who has been open about the permanent damage done to her feet on the set of Sex and the City.
The shoes will range from $195 to $485, a decision that Parker defends in her comments about their quality. “Those are hard-earned bucks, so I really tried to give women beautiful silhouettes and colors and excellent quality for their money. I didn’t want to do anything that says, “Oh, these shoes are 2014.’ I want my shoes to be a part of the world for a long time to come.” The designs certainly seem to reflect those ambitions of timelessness. One pair bears a striking resemblance to the Manolo Mary Janes Carrie coveted in the Vogue closet episode, remarking that she thought they were “an urban shoe myth.” Another, called “the Carrie,” were designed in honor of Miss Bradshaw. The nude T-strap stilettos look as timeless and classic as could be.
A favorite feature of the shoes is a very personal one. Grossgrain ribbons appear on the back of each shoe, a touch that echoes Parker’s humble beginnings.
The thing is, when I was growing up, we really didn’t have two nickels to rub together, but my mother always made sure that my sisters and I had two grosgrain ribbons in our hair. The rule was that we ironed them every single morning. We even had a special bureau dedicated to hair ribbons. I have them for my own daughters now, and my nieces wear them too. The grosgrain ribbons make SJP’s really identifiable to others and really personal to me.
There’s little doubt that SATC-devotees who came of age in the show’s heydey will be tempted by Parker’s high-end shoe line. Many of us have shocking shoe-buying habits. In fact, Glamour Magazine shared a study showing that the average woman buys 469 pairs of shoes in her lifetime, totalling about $25,000. The survey included 3,000 women and showed that the average woman has about 19 pairs at a time. Three are heels, six are flip flops, sandals, ballet flats, or wedges, three are boots, four are for going out, two are for work, and another two are impulse purchases.
The outlook is good for SJP if those statistics are accurate, and statistics about millennial shopping habits indicate that her market won’t be in trouble in the coming years. Millennials are big spenders, and 52% of them are more likely to make impulse purchases than any other generations, says TIME. Another survey by Market-Truth supports that assertion, noting that about half of millennial females shop for apparel more than twice a month, compared to 36% of older females. The generation wields plenty of purchasing power, totalling $170 billion a year. The only statistic that might indicate trouble for pricier lines like SJP came from the Fort Mill Times, who found that millennials who are parents tend to make purchasing decisions based on price rather than quality. The good news for Parker, however, is that she has nostalgia on her side. Casual Living found that a retailer’s ability to make customers smile is 33% more important to millennials than it is to baby boomers.
SJP debuts at Nordstrom on February 28 in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik. They will appear in a pop-up shop in Bradshaw’s beloved New York City until March 2, when the line will become available in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas.