Denise Truscello / Getty Images for Zappos Couture
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 | 8 p.m.
Gorgeous actress and fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker, who propelled the mega-sales of stilettos with her wardrobe on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” surprisingly doesn’t consider herself much of a shopper.
“I think I’d surprise you if you looked in my shoe closet,” she laughed when I met her at her SJP Collection Pop-Up Boutique last Thursday in the Shops at Crystals in CityCenter at Aria.
“I’m the opposite of that character I played on television. I love shoes. I love what they do for a woman. But I’m somebody who holds on to things for a long time and wears them for a long time. I like the value in something comfortable. You’ll even find some flats — it’s not just high heels.”
Sarah was here for two days of appearances to launch her “Strip Collection” of shoes, handbags and candles inspired by Las Vegas and exclusive to Tony Hsieh’s Zappos Couture. He was at the pop-up that looked as if it had been plucked from Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to set the stage for a luxurious event filled with fashion and Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite cosmopolitans and champagne.
It was a turnout of the tops as if HBO’s hit series was filming at a swank Park Avenue penthouse, and Sarah mingled with Las Vegas VIPs including Crystals Senior Vice President and General Manager Farid Matraki; MGM Resorts Board Member and Infinity World President William Grounds; Vdara Hotel & Spa General Manager Mary Giuliano; Bardot Brasserie executive chef Josh Smith; and Audra Baldwin, wife of CityCenter President and CEO Bobby Baldwin.
Bardot provided guests with miniature servings of chef Josh’s signature dishes including lobster Thermidor, smoked salmon on brioche, panisse fries, Couronne de Touraine and endives with bleu cheese and chocolate macarons. Craig Schoettler, Aria’s property mixologist, created the Bardot cosmopolitan for the soiree.
The glamorous 50-year-old says she’s been interested in shoes even before her hit HBO series began and is very serious about her new collection partnered with Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus and only available from Zappos.
“Our manufacturer in Italy comes to New York three or four times a year, and I sit with him on all the designs and then take part in the marketing and sales programs. He’s been in the shoe business for 30 years, so we’re dealing with the best.
“I enjoy this aspect of business. It’s so different from television. It’s good for an actress to have another interest. I have my others, like the fragrance, but designing a wardrobe for a woman is really rewarding. I set out to take this shoe opportunity to make reasonably priced, sexy shoes that would last and be of real value to a woman working hard for her money. I think we’ve succeeded well.”
Sarah showed me her own shoes she was wearing from the collection. It’s her design with fabric from a dress she once wore. For our interview and welcome reception, she wore a snakeskin-patterned pantsuit. A true, delightful and charming woman to interview, Sarah is genuinely excited with her creations now being marketing from Las Vegas:
“I love the collection. It’s exactly what I wanted to create.”
Our thanks to Denise Truscello of Getty Images for Zappos Couture for capturing the magic of Sarah’s jam-packed two day visit to Las Vegas.
Boxes of her shoes were flying out the windows on her visit so fast that Tony himself was running around to storage areas to restock product. Many of our town’s glamour girls walked out in their new pairs carrying their old shoes in a SJP shopping bag.
“I’m delighted to launch our collection with Zappos Couture,” said Sarah. “It’s been really exciting to work with Zappos over the past few years preparing for this launch. Their enthusiasm and understanding of our brand has been thrilling. It’s got an adventurous Las Vegas sparkle to them.”
From the names of shoes such as “Carrie” from her role on “SATC” to the little ribbon found on each product representing her own childhood, each style has a story as personal to the wearer as it is to Sarah herself.
Sarah chatted with me about life in Las Vegas compared to New York. She has been happily married since 1997 to film and Broadway star Matthew Broderick, and they have three children: 5-year-old twins Marion and Tabitha and son James.
Honeymoon in Vegas
She starred alongside Nicolas Cage in “Honeymoon in Vegas” and for the final marriage scene in a small Las Vegas wedding chapel wore a stolen showgirl outfit with The Flying Elvises, the skydiving team of Elvis impersonators.
While in town, Sarah took part as a surprise guest on “The Downtown Podcast” and attended one of the final sold-out performances of “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade” at the Venetian.
Our chat took place moments after she received the green light for her new HBO comedy series “Divorce” in which she’ll play, obviously, a divorcee. As its producer, she’s excited about her return to the small screen. Thomas Haden Church portrays her (ex-?)husband, and Molly Shannon and Talia Balsam play close friends of her character, Frances. No airdate has been set, but it is set to be filmed in New York this year.
Sarah told me that she remains in touch with her girlfriends from “Sex and the City” that ran from 1998 to 2004 and had two spin-off big-screen movies.
“I don’t miss the show as much as I miss the cast, but if there was to be a third movie, I’d seriously think about it.” She added, giggling: “I’ve done just about every state of romance on television, from being stranded at the altar and now to marital woes and divorce. You see it’s as I said: I’m all the opposite of what you see on television.”
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.