“To be honest, I’m not much of a shopper” is not a sentence you’d expect to hear from someone who’s recognized as one of New York’s most predominant style stars. But that’s exactly what Sarah Jessica Parker confessed to us over email. “This always disappoints and shocks a few people,” she adds. However, it’s also well known that Parker has a bit of a soft spot when it comes to shoes—wearing them, designing them, and (come this Friday) selling them directly to shoppers in her first-ever NYC pop-up shop for SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker.
When it comes to buying shoes, Parker tell us it’s a whole other ball game for her. Not only does the actress have an incredibly sensory method for determining the best pair (more on that later), but she also has a handful of go-to favorites she swears by. In fact, when we asked for just a few of her favorites, she didn’t hold back any details about the SJP styles perfect for any holiday party. And furthermore, she practically waxed poetic about her go-to pair of travel shoes. She calls them “sneakers,” but to be honestly they definitely rank a bit dresser than your average pair.
Ahead, read more of our conversation with SJP herself, and get all the details on the pop-up shop every New Yorker needs to visit this week.
SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker
WHO WHAT WEAR: Having done several SPJ pop-ups before, why’d you decide it was the perfect time for the brand to come to New York?
SARAH JESSICA PARKER: Well, I suppose one could call us mad as we watch retail struggle, but we were presented with a spectacular space right off Fifth Avenue in the heart of Midtown on a street I have a lot of nostalgia for, having played Annie on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre a couple of blocks west. So lots of wonderful memories, and we are very excited to make some new ones. The holiday season and the opportunity to open on Black Friday seemed particularly impossible to say no to. So we approach this privileged opportunity with a lot of enthusiasm and our intentions to work hard to be deserving.
WWW: Tell us about your own favorite shopping habits or rituals. Did any of these play into the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker pop-up?
SJP: I will say that when it comes to purchasing footwear, I’m a big believer in seeing, touching, trying on, and smelling a shoe before spending your hard-earned dollars on it. It’s one thing you lose when you shop online. And nothing—NOTHING—smells as good as high-quality Italian leather. I examine every inch of our shoes, and I expect and hope the customers do the same.
In terms of tradition, I think it holds true that behind every good store is a great sales staff. We found wonderful people to join us for this brief run and really had time to teach them not only about our brand and story but also what is most important to us, our customer service. Their excitement and knowledge of the collection makes all the difference when a customer walks in the door for the first time.
WWW: Okay, getting down to business: Which are the top three shoe styles from the collection that are perfect for any holiday party—casual to cocktail?
SJP: All of them! I’m serious. If I had to choose…
First, Lucille in Candy. This bold pink satin has been iconic for our brand since inception, and the big, gorgeous bow on the back of Lucille’s heel makes her a gift for your feet (not just during holiday season!).
Next, Rampling in Scintillate. Because what’s a holiday party without a bit of sparkle? This shoe is one of the most flattering and most comfortable from our entire collection. An evergreen silhouette for us, and for good reason.
Lastly, I’d choose Ursula in Give. This shoe fits like a glove. And don’t let her open toe scare you in the colder weather; she looks amazing worn over wool tights. Her color is a surprising neutral, and I’ve been mad about this shoe since day one.
WWW: And since the holiday season usually calls for tons of traveling, are there any shoes from the collection that best serve that purpose?
SJP: It’s hard to narrow it down to just one! My go-to travel shoe is typically our Meteor sneaker. She answers every question; she’s comfortable, she’s flattering, she comes in the most beautiful colors and fabrics. She’s just a shoe that suits any occasion and will never ask anything of your feet in return.
I’ve also been living in Anahita recently. She’s a beautiful, buckled d’orsay on a 50mm heel, and she’s one of the most comfortable shoes in our current collection. She fits like a slipper.
And for colder weather, our Minnie boot is a great companion. We have her on different heel heights in all kinds of beautiful leathers, fabrics, and even velvets. She’s a great shoe to dress up or down while still allowing you to run around comfortably.
All of Parker’s personal favorites will be sold in the New York pop-up at 6 West 52nd Street, starting this Friday, November 24, and running through December 3. Shop them online, or go for the full experience in person.