“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t Hate me.” That’s the conversation Carrie Bradshaw would have with Crocs.
When costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago were thinking of the shoes Carrie, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, would wear following her hip surgery in HBO Max’s “And Just Like That…,” the divisive Crocs clog came into question. “We had to have them there because we had to consider what you wear when you come out of the hospital,” said Rogers. “But, you know, we’re not a documentary. So luckily, we found those cool pom pom slides.”
Rogers said they went “nuts” pulling a range of different footwear styles for the scene. Ultimately, they landed on a pair of Tomo Koizumi x Emilio Pucci ruffled tulle and leather slides.
Another major shoe moment contemplated by the designers were whether or not Carrie, a high heel fanatic, would wear sneakers. It’s been almost 20 years since the “Sex and the City” TV series finale, and since then, sneakers have taken over the footwear space at nearly brand and every price point.
“New York women rock fierce sneakers and most people have a sneaker. But the more I thought about, the more I was like, ‘No, it’s not apart of this story in this new show,” said Rogers. “It was more exciting to explore what she would wear when she had a hip problem, coming up with our own creative ideas to replace the sneaker with.”
One style being the Birkenstock. In “Tragically Hip,” the fifth episode of “And Just Like That,” Carrie likens herself to a Vermont art teacher wearing a pair of “unsettling” olive green Birkenstock sandals with white tube socks in the hospital waiting room.
Post-surgery, however, it was back into a pair of sparkly gold Christian Louboutin pumps and all was right in the world again. Fans will remember the same stilettos from the opening scene in the “Sex and the City 2” film.
“Shoes are important to the brand, especially when it comes to Carrie and her love of shoes and how she basically gave a lot of brands household names from the TV show. So this series is a continuation of that,” Santiago said.
Outside of the now-infamous shower scene and the blue satin Manolo Blahnik pumps cameo — which was scripted — the designers brought back archive shoes from Parker’s own collection, custom pairs and “the most beautiful shoes of the season,” said Santiago. Carrie also could be seen in a pair of Parker’s SJP Collection charcoal pumps that were actually adorned with crystal earrings as shoe clips.
Another standout style came in the form of Valentino Couture gold metallic platforms. Carrie doesn’t wear the shoes, but they are on full display in the closet scene in episode 5. It was a one-of-a-kind piece made in Parker’s size as there were only a limited amount made for the runway. “We called in or tried to find every shoe in the world. We had every kind of shoe we could could get our hands on,” Rogers said.
While high heels are the quintessential symbol of the Carrie Bradshaw character, Rogers and Santiago said a common misconception is that Carrie dresses feet first. In fact, that’s the last step. “We always put together an outfit and then go in search of the footwear,” said Rogers.
Still, two decades have gone by and the show and its characters continue to put fashion at the forefront. Rogers said the philosophy on “Sex and the City” — where she worked in wardrobe (led by Patricia Field) during the show’s run — was that it was a moving fashion magazine.
“It was such a great DNA to have for that show because you had someone that knew what clothes could do and knew how to move in them. And that was Sarah Jessica. It was a really perfect storm.”
That perfect storm continues in “And Just Like That…” This time around, every look has been examined under a microscope, and although there’s been some scrutiny, the designers were more than happy to be back.
“When we were in the fitting room, it was like seeing a long lost friend,” Rogers said. “And I think the fans felt that way and the fans felt that way about some of the accessories. People were just so happy to see these pieces come back again.”