Back-to-school shopping can be a downright daunting parental task. And much like the rest of the moms and dads out there, Sarah Jessica Parker feels the pressure to make selects that are durable, comfortable, and cool — all before drop-off season. “It depends on what they already have, what they’re feeling, what’s necessary, [and] who they think they are this week,” she tells InStyle with a laugh.
So the Divorce star — who has three children with husband Matthew Broderick: son James Wilkie, 15, and 9-year-old twins Marion and Tabitha — is taking matters into her own hands and launching her second limited-edition collection for Gap Kids on Aug. 27, packed with whimsical, wearable pieces for the toddler and preteen set. Much like her debut collection for the brand out last spring, Parker’s latest styles feature fun florals, colorful prints, and an overarching cartoon bunny motif (a nod to the English folklore notion that rabbits bring good luck).
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Every item was inspired by memories from Parker’s own childhood. “We relied on past images of my childhood and things that I wore growing up,” she says. “From silhouettes and fabrics to pockets and rickrack [trims], the design team really thought about how we wanted to use some of those touches that were so important to me and to my sister, who was helping with this collection.” For example, “We grew up wearing black watch plaid — my mother loved it. The black watch plaid dress in this collection is so perfect. It will always be relevant.”
But one piece feels like it came straight from her Sex and the City days — a hot pink tutu that calls to mind Parker’s iconic outfit in the opening sequence of the series. Carrie Bradshaw vibes aside, Parker is just happy that the frilly skirts are here to stay. “I guess I just like that people still want to wear them. People of all ages,” she says. “We did a very sweet one with pompoms in our last collection and we wanted to do it again. I think it integrates so nicely, and it’s just a very simple, neutral piece in a way. It can be worn with leggings, tights, tube socks or knee socks. It can be worn in the summer with flip flips and sandals. It has a lot of places it can live in a child’s life.”
Only SJP can call a hot pink tutu “neutral” and actually make it sound legit.
Other favorites from the line — which starts at just $14.95 — include a “very charming” girls’ peasant blouse, a gray boys’ graphic hoodie, and a sparkly pair of bunny-adorned socks that Parker describes as “so freaking cute.” Most of the pieces are intentionally playful. “Parents are always wanting to keep their young, young. Kids can dress this way, and that isn’t the way we dress as we get older. So there’s something that’s youthful about these collections and appropriate for their age.”
She definitely has her own kids’ closets in mind when designing, and, now that she’s two collections in, Parker finds herself excited to be creating pieces for all genders. “As a parent [of one boy and two girls], I have knowledge of both,” she says. “So one doesn’t feel easier than the other, and none of it feels really taxing — they both just feel fun, frankly.”
Check out a few more of Parker’s favorite items from the collection below, available Aug. 27 at gap.com.