Why the world's still in love with SJP...

As SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker becomes the latest addition to the illustrious line-up at The Dubai Mall’s New-look Fashion Avenue, Grazia examines the seemingly endless allure of the SATC style icon
Why the world's still in love with SJP...

“I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet,” Carrie Bradshaw once said, but as Sarah Jessica Parker opens her third standalone store worldwide at the luxe new Fashion Avenue extension at The Dubai Mall, it’s safe to say that the actress herself may have somewhat diversified her investments since then. Following in the footsteps of her beauty and fragrance lines, SJP the shoe brand was born in 2014, exactly 10 years after the last episode of SATC, a cult TV hit that not only captured the zeitgeist but also our imaginations and our hearts. This love letter to New York City showed the strength and beauty of female friendships, the all-too-relatable realities and complexities of dating, and thanks to the dizzyingly eclectic vision of costume designer Patricia Field, turned newspaper columnist Carrie Bradshaw into an overnight style success, and transformed Sarah Jessica Parker into a fashion powerhouse and creative muse with an influence that continues to this day.

Carrie Bradshaw's kooky style choices have become part of our fashion psyche

Carrie’s maverick on-screen style choices were matched only by Sarah Jessica Parker’s off-screen red-carpet flamboyance, both of which have left an enduring legacy to this day, which perhaps partly explains why her brand resonates so profoundly with the more dramatic dressers of the Middle East. With a strong foothold in the region – existing retailers already include Level Shoes and Bloomingdale’s-Dubai, House of Fraser and Tryano at Yas Mall, Saks Fifth Avenue in Bahrain, Harvey Nichols in Kuwait, and Ounass – opening her first boutique outside the US in the Middle East is a smart move. SJP tells Grazia, “For us, the Middle East has been such a strong territory. It’s allowed us to push our creative boundaries and experiment with fabrics, decadent ornaments and some really gorgeous colours.”

On why she believes her designs speak to the women of the region, she continues, “We really tried to dream up and create shoes with the Middle Eastern woman in mind. She has a tendency to be more adventurous than some of our customers in the States. A lot of the shoes in our boutique are satin because we know this territory responds well to it. We also detail most of the shoes in rich jewel tones using some really special ornaments and gems. These women are all about taking risks and it allows us to be wonderfully bold in our designs.” You know us too well, SJP…

That being said, while the iconic image of Carrie running through the streets in stilettos like a modern-day Cinderella in her very own fairy tale of New York may be seared into fashion history, today Sarah Jessica Parker is a working mother of three, who’s building her fashion and beauty businesses while dominating our screens in the HBO comedy series Divorce, so we imagine her present-day shoe closet might tell a very different story. “We’ve designed flats, boots, pumps and even some really gorgeous silhouettes done on a mid-height block heel. We even have a sneaker! We take pride in the diverse range of women we’ve been able to reach with our collection. As I always say, there’s an SJP shoe for everyone.”

The first SJP standalone boutique outside the States is now open at The Dubai Mall

While Carrie’s $40,000 shoe habit left her worrying about “literally being the old woman who lived in her shoes,” fans of SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker needn’t share those concerns. The actress assures us, “Our shoes are all handcrafted in Italy with only the highest quality leathers, satins, fabrics and embellishments,” she explains, “so, given the intricate craftsmanship that goes into each and every pair, we feel particularly pleased with where the collection’s price point has landed. These shoes have to be worth a woman’s hard-earned dollars.” Carrie couldn’t have put it better herself…

Photos: Rex Features and supplied