In 2009, the British national newspaper, The Guardian declared that “Carrie Bradshaw did as much to shift the culture around certain women’s issues as real-life female ground breakers.”
Carrie Bradshaw IS an icon. For outsiders, she may have been a fictional character but for every woman who watched Sex and the City, she was more real than most Hollywood celebrities. Heck, she was more accessible and honest with us than most of our real friends. She is flawed, frank and fashion forward – a girl could relate to Carrie Bradshaw, and her taste in shoes.
“When I first moved to New York, I’d buy Vogue instead of dinner. I just felt it fed me more.”
Carrie writes a weekly column called “Sex and the City” for The New York Star. The column focuses on Carrie’s hedonistic adventures and those of her close friends (Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte), as well as musings about the relationships between men and women, dating, and New York. The “I can relate to that” factor of the column brings Carrie a certain level of celebrity and years later, her column is turned into a book, and Carrie is given an opportunity to write for Vogue.
In 1986, a 21 year old Carrie Bradshaw moved to Manhattan at the height of 80s hair and the Madonna tutu, and embraced New York City. She lives in a brownstone on the Upper East Side at 245 East 73rd Street, perfectly situated between Park and Madison. Carrie Bradshaw lives the impossibly perfect Manhattan life on what is most probably an average paying job. Her apartment is small but with a huge walk-through closet. She is forever the optimist and always ready to face each new day and fashion trend. Carrie lives on the edge of a New York minute; a fast paced lifestyle that thrives on high fashion, over-the-top glamour, elusive love and a good Cosmopolitan.
“I have this little substance abuse problem… expensive footwear.”
A known shoe lover with a penchant for expensive designer shoes (notably Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo), Miranda once estimated that Carrie owned at least 100 pairs of shoes and had spent more than $40,000 on her shoe collection. She frequently mixes kitschy vintage finds with high-end labels and Carrie loves to shop at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Oh – for the love of couture!
Over the course of six years, Carrie Bradshaw was seen wearing Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Anna Molinari, Balenciaga, Betsey Johnson, Bottega Veneta, Céline, Chanel, Chloé, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Fürstenberg, Fendi, Givenchy, Gucci, Heatherette, Helmut Lang, Hermès, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jeremy Scott, Judith Leiber, Jil Sander, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Missoni, Miu Miu, Moschino, Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Shiatzy Chen, Sergio Rossi, Sonia Rykiel, Tom Ford, Tiffany & Co., Yves Saint Laurent, Vera Wang, Valentino, Versace and Vivienne Westwood. It’s no wonder we love her.
“Every year the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future… this is
known as Fashion Week.”
Carrie’s incredible wardrobe is completely out of reach for a struggling writer but her lust for great fashion – vintage to haute couture – is part of what makes Carrie a true fashionista. Carrie has been known to max out credit cards to buy a great pair of shoes (who hasn’t?) and once, she couldn’t secure a bank loan because her great fashion sense resulted in a poor credit rating. Never one to hide behind her closet, Carrie admitted that her “shoe needs” have accounted for most of her spending. When Carrie is mugged near West Broadway, the thief makes off with her Fendi Baguette clutch and Manolo Blahnik pink suede strappy sandals, and Carrie’s greatest distress was that she purchased the shoes for “half off at a sample sale”. They were irreplaceable at that price!
Carrie Bradshaw is the sovereign of shoes and her love affair with heels is an inherent part of who she is; an important part of why we love her. She misses an important ferry to Staten Island and is only concerned with her missing shoe, screaming out “I lost my Choo!” When her shoes are stolen at the home of a married friend and Carrie is ‘shoe shamed’, she not only goes into ‘shoe detective’ mode, but ponders the hypocrisy of why only married women get to celebrate their life choices whereas single women don’t have their life choices celebrated (“Hallmark don’t make a ‘congratulations-you-didn’t-marry-the-wrong-guy card’!”) and Carrie reasonably comes to the conclusion that it is okay to spend that much on oneself to make the single girl’s life more bearable.
“The fact is, sometimes it’s hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then – to make the walk a little more fun.”
Carrie is notoriously led by her emotions. She seeks acceptance (a door key, bathroom cabinet space, a promise) from her lovers, she obsesses over book reviews, and demands of Big, “just tell me I’m the one”. Yes, she does occasionally behave in a selfish manner but unless her self-involvement is pointed out by friends, she is apt to blame this on her tendency to get ‘Carried Away’, a phrase affectionately coined by Big. The result is the endearing, real Carrie that is flawed but relatable with a self-deprecating sense of humour.
Carrie is often torn between being single and free, enjoying the life she has built with her friends in the big city, and being inextricably lonely and in search of love. In fact, Carrie was someone looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each- other love.
“Men I may not know but shoes, SHOES I KNOW!”
Although other significant men came and went in Carrie Bradshaw’s life – including Aidan Shaw, Jack Berger and Aleksandr Petrovsky – the love of her life is Mr. Big. Despite the turmoil in their relationship, Carrie and Big make continuous appearances in each other’s lives, which is the source of both joy and stress for Carrie – and finally in the end, they become Mr. and Mrs. Married.
At one time or another, we all get ‘Carried Away’. Carrie Bradshaw gave us all hope that we could one day afford the Louboutin heels and Dior frocks. She made us believe that if you dream big, live large, fall down but get back up, put your heart out there with honesty and conviction… that in the end, it pays off. Not a bad dream.
Carrie loved to wonder out loud. By doing so, she let us all into her life, and was often asking the hard questions that the rest of us were afraid to ask. A few of my favourites…
“Okay, we were attracted to younger men for various reasons. But I couldn’t help but wonder: What do they see in us?”
“As I walked home, I couldn’t help but wonder … When did being alone become the modern-day equivalent of being a leper?”
“The fact is, the act of cheating is defined by the act of getting caught. One doesn’t exist without the other. I wondered: Was Samantha right? Is cheating like the proverbial tree in the forest? That it doesn’t exist if there’s no one around to catch you?”
“I couldn’t help but wonder: Inside every confident, driven, single woman, is there a delicate, fragile princess just waiting to be saved? Was Charlotte right? Do women just wanna be rescued?”
“I couldn’t help but wonder: No matter how far you travel or how much you run from it, can you ever really escape your past?”
“So, when it comes to finance and dating, I couldn’t help but wonder: Why do we keep investing?”
“I couldn’t help but wonder: Can you get to a future if your past is present?”
By: Tracey Drake – NICHE Magazine Inspiration 2013