Even 15 years after Sex and the City’s premiere, Sarah Jessica Parker is still fashion’s darling. Since the show went off the air, the former Carrie Bradshaw has kept her focus in fashion through a clothing and fragrance line, not to mention her limited time with Halston, and now, her upcoming shoe collection with Manolo Blahnik. But many relate her success in the industry by just being nice, which stands in stark contrast to the snobby Devil Wears Prada persona that’s associated with fashionistas.
In her cover story for Harper’s Bazaar’s September issue, Cathy Horyn noted her sweet demeanor when the star chatted with two fans who asked for a photo, and found similar sentiments from George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik. “She has a fan base in the fashion world that’s extraordinary, and it’s truly because she’s such a nice person,” he told Horyn about their friendship. “Were it anyone but Sarah Jessica, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Though she won’t ever shake Carrie Bradshaw, she’s never tried to revamp her image for the sake of her old character. “I don’t think I’ve ever spent 10 minutes calculating my image. I can’t even recall a conversation,” she told the glossy. In fact, she’s used everything she learned from the show to bolster her shoe brand. “The shoe business is so exciting because we don’t have to think of black and brown as the only neutrals anymore.”
Her highly anticipated line, which will incorporate unconventional color and fabric combinations like mocha and navy and grosgrain, seems to be faring well—even though some of her previous collaborations didn’t have such smooth sailing. After Bitten went bust, she invested in Halston and worked to revive the brand with little luck. “We’ve all worked with complicated people and I always think that I can disarm them,” she explained. “I love collaborating. I’m a great listener and learner, and I don’t think I know more than they do. I’m transparent.”
With all that she has going on, including an Off-Broadway play with Blythe Danner and an HBO series in development, it would be easy for things to fall off. Still, that’s not the case for the mother of three. Longtime friend John Benjamin Hickey noted that regardless of what she has going on, she always lives in the moment and seizes opportunities. “When you have her attention, you have her attention,” he said. “Sarah can be so many places, but she’s never more than one place at one time.” And it’s good advice to take away from the industry’s favorite fashion plate.