A heartbroken Sarah Jessica Parker remembered George Malkemus as “dearest partner” and “elegant gentleman” in a touching Instagram post today.
“I cannot summon the words for a fitting tribute. He deserves prose I don’t yet have. I have to gather my thoughts,” she wrote. “Today I can only say I’m utterly heartbroken. RIP dearest partner, elegant gentleman George.”
A revered executive and friend to many, George Malkemus III died Thursday in New York after a battle with cancer. He was 67.
Few people knew Malkemus as intimately as Parker. Ever since the pair first partnered in 2013 to launch their SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker collection, Malkemus worked alongside the actress-turned-designer, teaching her the intricacies of a complex and fast-changing shoe business.
Parker posted her Instagram message alongside a photo of a cuff engraved with “WWGM3D?’ “Til we meet again, I will spend the rest of my days asking, ‘What would GM3 do?’ I am going to miss you so ‘F’in’ much.”
From the beginning, Parker knew Malkemus was the one person who could help her realize a longtime dream to launch a footwear business.
“I met with lots of interesting and kind and lovely potential partners, but at night when I was lying in my bed thinking about this opportunity and what it meant to me, those partnerships didn’t seem right for me,” the designer told FN in 2013, when she and Malkemus revealed their new venture. “I realized the one person I’d want to work with, in an ideal world, was George. … But I was hesitant because I knew how obligated he was,” she admitted. “I didn’t think of him as a massive shoe producer. He doesn’t run a business like a lot of other men and women in the shoe industry.”
Three years after the big debut, the footwear veteran discussed Parker’s path from adored actress to dedicated businesswoman.
“In her own persuasive way, she has taken power of her destiny,” he told FN in 2016. “We have certain notions about big stars. That’s not her at all. She’s everything I ever hoped for in a friend, but nothing I ever dreamed of having in a partner. She brings a unique way of thinking that was new to me.”
The partners spent eight years growing the SJP business, expanding into new categories and opening stores in key markets across the country. In March 2020, just weeks before the pandemic changed everything, they made their biggest move yet, opening a flagship on 54th Street in New York.
A few months later, as the city continued to suffer, Malkemus opened up about the pair’s love for New York and their commitment to brick-and-mortar retail.
“I don’t think anyone epitomizes New York City more than Sarah Jessica Parker,” said Malkemus. “We talk about it every day, how we have to get this city back.”