RUBBING SHOULDERS: Sarah Jessica Parker wasted no time getting to know her fans at Nordstrom in Houston during a recent public appearance. Before ever setting foot in the shoe department, the accessories designer and actress worked the phones, picking up calls from customers, eliciting everything from stunned silence to astonished screams on the other end of the line.

Fans of Parker’s SJP Collection of shoes and handbags began gathering at Nordstrom on Aug. 21 at 5 a.m. to garner a place in line and an opportunity to meet the “Sex and the City” star. It’s the same kind of devotion Parker experiences on all of her public appearances (she uses the #WhistleStopTour hashtag on her Instagram and Twitter posts), and she revels in the opportunity to get up close and personal.

This story first appeared in the August 28, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“I have an affinity for engaging with people and it’s so important to get out and interact with customers,” Parker said. “We spent a lot of years on the show, and people were so good to us. ‘Sex and the City’ changed our lives and coming to meet people is a way I can convey gratitude.”

The SJP fall collection purposely includes colors that reach beyond fall’s traditional hues of tobacco and black, and there isn’t a platform to be seen. Parker believes in single-sole shoes and unexpected hues.

“I’m trying to bring color to fall. You can wear olive and French navy to the office and beyond,” Parker said. When it comes to what she’s coveting from her own collection, Parker points to the Pat, a tall, black leather lattice boot named for “Sex and the City” costume designer Patricia Fields and the New Yorker suede hobo bag.

Parker’s exclusive collaboration with Nordstrom is evolving with each delivery, and she looks to makeup artist and friend Laura Mercier as she develops her business.

“Laura put it all out there and went door-to-door to grow her business. She’s a huge inspiration for me,” Parker said.

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