Sarah Jessica Parker made the rounds at the Halston spring 2011 presentation on Monday, although she was quick to point out that as president of the company's secondary Heritage line, she had no role in this main collection. "This is Marios [Schwab]'s collection. He has total autonomy; this is really his story," she said. The newly minted fashion executive spoke to The Cut about what she's been doing at the company since her appointment was announced in January.
"It is a wonderful, thrilling challenge, and there is a lot to draw on, and incredibly exciting archives. I'm delighted," Parker said, demurring when we asked how successful she thought she'd been so far. "I don't think it's my place to describe how it's going. I think that's for anybody else to comment on or not, frankly."
Her role is not simply creative, and her responsibilities include anything related to Halston Heritage, from the mundane to the more complicated. "It's really everything that a president generally conventionally does in this particular industry, from talking about prints and sourcing and hiring and marketing to the direction for spring/summer 2011 for the Heritage collection to our licensing partnerships and how we want to pursue that."
And despite years as a fashion icon, the Sex and the City star reeled off a list of new things she's learned in the job. "Profit margins; sourcing; what factories work where in all sorts of parts of the world; how soon we can get tiny sequins — you know, sequins that are one-eighth versus one-sixteenth of an inch; can we get a swatch of fabric that ombrés? Can we get a real silk tulle versus a blend? This is what I've been learning about," Parker said.
She says she's putting in long days — "like 7:30 to 11:00 p.m." — but it's worth it (she has a financial stake in the company, too). She's excited about some new people they've brought on to work on the Heritage collection (although she didn't provide names). "Hopefully in about six months' time you'll see their contribution. It will be glaring," she said.
But Parker says she loves acting, and can't imagine giving it up completely for fashion. "This is a sort of indescribable, wonderful experience, and I don’t love being away from my children, so it's a way to fill the part of the year that I’m not doing a movie," she said. "And I don’t say that in a diminishing way, but it’s a great, wonderful, rich life to get to be both."
See more: Halston's Spring 2011 Collection