Parker's had that level of influence for a while, launching her first fragrance Lovely way back in 2005. So now she's on a quest to reach a new audience with a new scent: Born Lovely, which Parker described as Lovely's cool, younger daughter when we met her at the launch of the fragrance in midtown Manhattan.
"It was obvious to all of us that Lovely is still considered a signature fragrance," Parker says. "Now we’ve actually gone through a generation of women, and Lovely just feels more mature. It feels more polite. It behaves. This fragrance [Born Lovely] just feels more youthful. It has a contemporary feel. It doesn’t feel as serious. To me, it’s a less complex fragrance purposefully. But there are hints and DNA in there that connect it to its mother."
Similar to Lovely, Born Lovely has a top note of mandarin orange, and a base note of cedar, but differs from Lovely with notes like peony, honeysuckle, and patchouli sprinkled throughout.
To really attract this new, younger audience, Parker didn't want to be the center of this campaign like she had been with all her previous fragrances. She wanted to mirror the generation she's hoping to lure, and she did that in a way that few fragrance campaigns have done before: She cast young women of not only various races but sizes as well.
"From the time we started talking about this fragrance, which was three or four years ago, we were talking about what we wanted this campaign to look like, and it included women of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds, colors, ethnicities," Parker says. "We were recognizing that this was a fragrance for a generation, and this generation is exquisite in its diversity. They come from all different backgrounds. If I could have gotten a camera on a building above a street in New York City and filmed a canyon of women, we would have."
But it's not like people aged 25 and younger don't know who Parker is. She has remained an iconic figure in the pop culture landscape because of her charming Instagram, consistently wonderful red carpet — and specifically Met Gala — looks, and Sex and the City, of course, a show that set not only many a fashion trend, but also set a new kind of standard for "sexy hair." Before SATC, super-curly hair like Carrie Bradshaw's had been associated with nerd girls waiting to be made over, but Bradshaw flipped that Hollywood stereotype on its head. However, SJP is reluctant to give herself total credit for empowering curly-haired women across the world.
"I saw someone the other day with really, truly curly hair, and she was just amazing looking. I thought, 'Oh, I’m so happy she’s walking around the city like that,'" Parker says. "It’s so wonderful that no one’s talked her out of this yet, that somehow she hasn’t gotten the impression that it’s not pretty or sexy or feminine. I wouldn’t assume that I have anything to do with that. If anything, I think we just did that on the show because that was just my hair."
And that's another thing she loves about this new generation: They love to be themselves.
"I feel like I see more and more young women being themselves," Parker says. "All of my sons’ friends, they don’t cover their zits. When I was growing up, we had flesh-colored blemish cover. But kids today, they’re much better at being themselves, or at least they’re making attempts. It takes courage to be yourself, and I encourage everyone to do that."
Isn't that a lovely idea?