It's not really much of a surprise. Rumors that SJP would represent Halston have been flying ever since she was filming the sequel. And why not? Almost every publicity still captured the lithe 44-year old actress wearing a drapey white dress from Halston's Spring 2010 Heritage line. Though titles such as creative director, consultant and advisor have all been bandied about, SJP sealed a lucrative deal to become president and chief creative officer, which includes a seat on the Halston board, alongside CEO Bonnie Takhar, and an equity stake in the firm. A good move on the part of Halston's parent companies Harvey Weinstein's The Weinstein Co. and Hilco Consumer Capital.
Smart for a host of reasons, not the least of which is tapping Parker's energy and enthusiasm, and almost universal appeal with her "unique sense of quirky elegance that touched our hearts."
She's got plenty of designer cred too. No matter that her Bitten line with Steve & Barry vaporized when the chain declared bankruptcy, her idea --that fashion should be affordable -- still resonates in this economy.
Sales of her mid-priced perfumes Lovely and Covet helped Coty, her global licensing parter, continue to enjoy strong sales over the past two years, especially in emerging markets of Asia and Australia.
Halston Heritage is likewise aiming for the middle market, less expensive than its sibling signature collection. Rachel Weingarten, a creative brand strategist notes, "Women aren't quite ready to spend on high end as they once were, so it would be prudent to have the glam name of Halston and SJP, but with clever and affordable pricing." She points to Target's collaborations with Rodarte, Carlos Falchi, Isaac Mizrahi, Proenza Schouler, and others. "It's the best of haute and low-brow couture," quips Weingarten.
Which is why it would be perfect for Macy's.
Looking to expand its current line-up of designers that includes a mix of Calvin Klein (classic) BCBG (fun and young), Michael by Michael Kors (stylish yet affordable) and Jones New York (somewhat staid), the retailer is holding an "Open Call" for designers next month.
Though the charismatic Parker probably won't turn up at the Macy's auditions in her new role as president, the promise of the Halston Heritage retro-chic collection should be enough reason for Macy's buyers to seek her out themselves.