Adina Sneed was first in line. A flight attendant from Arizona, Sneed arrived in Seattle at 11pm the night before Sarah Jessica Parker made her public appearance at the Nordstrom in Downtown Seattle to launch her new SJP collection. She slept for a few hours at the Double Tree hotel by the airport, woke up before dawn, put on her SJP T-shirt and was on the 5:30am light rail into downtown. When she arrived at Nordstrom, she couldn’t believe she was the first in line.
“I turned the corner and was like, where is everyone?” she said of her 6am arrival. She compared it to a “Sex and the City” scene where Carrie takes a wrong turn and is unexpectedly in an alley alone.
“I have been a fan of hers since ‘Square Pegs,’” she said. “She set the tone for single women in general, that you don’t need a man to feel complete … when Gap cancelled her contract, I wrote to Gap.”
While Sneed was first, she wasn’t alone for long. For hours other women, little girls and the occasional man filed into a line behind her that snaked around the department store.
“I’ve never done anything like this,” said Beth Lee who took the day off work and arrived at Nordstrom at about 9am. Lee is an avid fan who has followed Parker’s career since “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
“Five friends were going to come with me but they all bailed because they’re not serious enough,” said Samantha Frederick who also arrived around 9am. “I just like her. I always said I wanted to be just like her when I grow up.”
Tosha Vandegrift waited in line to meet the star back in 2006 when she launched her fragrance and wasn’t hesitant to wait hours to meet her again. “She’s a humble, humble person,” she said.
“I love Sarah Jessica Parker, she’s just so stylish,” said Nicholas Cope. “Carrie Bradshaw is a style icon. I watch ‘Sex and the City’ religiously and to meet her would be a dream come true.”
After 10 years off the air, “Sex and the City” still has a roaring fan base. Even SJP herself knows how special it is.
“I feel this sort of debt of gratitude to this group of women who spent a lot of years watching ‘Sex and the City,’” she said in a phone interview. “I feel like there was a standing of 10 million or so that really gave us a lot of their time and shared a lot of affection and in many ways this collection is for them.”
The SJP collection consists of bright colorful shoes, a few handbags and a trench coat. The shoes go for about $300 a pair. Many women in line had their pink SJP boxes ready for the star to sign.
While the event had the capacity to get tense or chaotic, the affection among fans kept the energy high and positive. Women shopped for shoes in line, Nordstrom employees offered them waters, and Nordstrom makeup artists came over with their blush brushes to apply a little makeup before the star came down for photos. Sneed and a couple of other women even went down to the grill for cocktails earlier in the day.
When Sarah Jessica Parker came down right at 4:30 to meet her fans, the crowd went wild. Sneed was right in front and after a few press photos the star gave her a big hug.
“She was shocked and amazed that I’ve been here since 6am this morning,” she said in a daze. As Parker was signing her SJP tag she joked that she didn’t want to mess up her name like John Travolta did with Idina Menzel at the Oscars last Sunday.
One after another, women walked away from the star overwhelmed and thrilled.
“[It was] amazing” said Frederick. “I just said [to her] it was a dream come true.”
While Parker was only scheduled to meet with fans from 4:30-5:30, she was still there at 6:40pm – as if talking about her shoes with loving fans was fulfilling her own dream.
Read our Q&A with Sarah Jessica Parker here.