DUBAI – Less than a year after her foray into the world of footwear, Sarah Jessica Parker has taken her line of shoes global, expanding her footprint to the Middle East, where she was met by hundreds of fans who lined up for hours.
“For us it’s a huge, sublime opportunity,” Parker told WWD. “The Dubai customer really suits what we are trying to do as a brand which is color, color, color with an adventurous quality.”
For her Dubai debut, Parker created an exclusive collection full of color and embellishment for what she described as the “incredibly smart, savvy and very particular Dubai customer.” Parker said 60 to 80 percent of the colors she was debuting here do not exist in the U.S. collection. “Almost none of the ornamentation either.”
SJP is retailing at Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdale’s in Dubai, both of which hosted in-store shoe signings with the designer this week. The new collection incorporated a lot of satin, a fabric she said in the U.S. is reserved mostly for special occasions, but in Dubai is more commonplace. “Retailers in the U.S. shy away from satins. But here it’s all about fantasy and whimsy. Shoes are a key part of the wardrobe. An abaya with a bright color shoe poking out is a way for a woman to convey who she is, how she feels about herself, what she wants us to know,” said Parker.
The entire city was experiencing SJP mania, with sightings of the actresses all around the emirate, from popular restaurants to the city’s newest nightclub. For her excited fans, the visit was like a homecoming for the actress, whose movie “Sex and the City 2” was partially set in the United Arab Emirates. The film wasn’t shot in the UAE, though, and this trip was the first for the actress to the country. She said she was eager to see the many facets of Dubai. Her Instagram account showed Parker climbing into old wooden trader ships full of goods bound for Iran in the emirate’s older port neighborhood along the creek.
“So much of what beckons people here is the modernity and the beautiful buildings, but I was also so curious about the other sides of life,” said Parker, who added she was struck most by the diversity of Dubai. “What surprised me most is the many nationalities that live here. I have never met people from so many countries in three hours.”