TIME's Jeffrey Ressner quizzed SARAH JESSICA PARKER (Carrie Bradshaw on TV's Sex and the City) on something that any celebrity--and especially she--really knows: shoes.
Q: What's most important: quality, comfort or looks?
A: It's a tight race between quality and looks. If a shoe designer can manage both, great. Comfort is, in my life, secondary.
Q: Why are so many great women's-shoe designers male?
A: Maybe they have more appreciation of ladies' feet than women do; they see something beautiful about the silhouette. We're literally looking down at our feet. Men have a different perspective.
Q: How high is too high for high heels?
A: For me, practicality stops at about 4 1/2 in. Other things come under aesthetics: I'm not particularly fond of a high wedge. But I think a high heel is one of the prettiest things imaginable. As a short person--I'm 5 ft. 4 in.--I count on a nice high heel.
Q: Last year you had your first child. Any thoughts on shoes and pregnancy?
A: I grew to appreciate a flat shoe toward the last couple of weeks. There were occasions where I had to put on heels, but I wished I had a lifestyle that could afford a bunch of Manolo Blahnik flats.
Q: Any favorite baby shoes?
A: I vividly remember the shoes I wore growing up, and I don't know where I'm going to find them. There was a standard shoe for spring-summer--a T-strap white sandal with the holes poked out in front--and also a classic saddle fall-winter shoe. Buster Brown made good ones; so did Stride Rite.
A: The split-toe Nike. Love it. It's all I wear when I wear sneakers. They're really easy to slip off and on; they're very light; they come in great colors; they're the most comfortable sneaker I've ever worn. And they're washable.
Q: Is there a perfect shoe?
A: It depends on the environment and the circumstances. Manolo makes the perfect heel. There's something about what his heel does for the slightly forward pitch of a woman's body that is really superior. He just makes you look sexier. Podiatrists all over America will say I'm encouraging foot problems, but it's still a free country.
Q: How many "wears" do you get out of a nice designer shoe?
A: A lifetime. I say that not proudly but because I have so many shoes, I don't wear any of them out.
Q: How many do you own?
A: I honestly don't know. A hundred? It depends if you're talking about the pairs in circulation, because I have an archive too. In circulation, about 50 to 60 pairs.
Q: Why don't husbands and boyfriends understand a woman's need to accumulate shoes?
A: I don't know, but whatever gene it is, I'm really glad they don't have it. It's one of the nice things that separate the sexes.