“Of course I have staff, but I love Wholefoods,” she told us from LA. “I like picking out things and going to the bakery or deli. I like doing normal things even though I don’t have to. I do those things because I want to. I’ll never change.”
Hilton was one of the original It girls joint with Nicole Richie, with whom she starred in “iconic” reality TV show The Simple Life in the early Noughties. She grew up with Kim Kardashian (more of that later), had a wardrobe full of more diamonds and designer clobber than most of us can imagine and is famous enough to get into any club, bar or restaurant she wanted to. With her peroxide hair, pet Chihuahua and penchant for pink and anything bling, she became almost a self-created caricature. She was ubiquitous, dominating gossip magazines on a regular basis and her catch phrase “That’s hot” was used by nearly every teen growing up in the Noughties.
I like doing normal things even though I don’t have to
In 2007, she got in trouble with the police over drink and was jailed for 45 days after being found guilty of violating her probation for a drink-driving conviction. After that, spare a few minor film roles (including a cameo in Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring), she went very quiet.
“When I first came onto the scene I was going out to every club every night, it was crazy,” she said. “But I’ve grown up. I’m on a plane 200 days of the year. I’m always working; I’m 100 percent focused on my business and brand and I’ve never been happier. Success fulfils me. I’m single and independent and free to concentrate on work. I feel blessed.”
Think what you like about Hilton, but she has built a steady empire. She is of course the great grand-daughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of the hotel chain, but she’s been adding to her net worth for years. There’s her many books, her fashion label, her music (she’s a DJ and also a soon-to-launch singing career) and has a fragrance line comprising of 18 scents, and is now in its 10th year. To celebrate, Hilton has launched a limited edition fragrance covered in diamond-inspired crystals (obviously).
“I’ve worn perfume since I was six,” she said. “I used to go into my mum’s boudoir when she was out and spray myself all over. I have always worn perfume. It’s who you are.”
She’s been asked to endorse pretty much “everything”, the most ridiculous being a Mexican beans company.
“They’d come up with a pink can and campaign for it,” she laughs. “I thought, ‘I know I do everything, but I draw the line at beans.'”
I’m not just a dumb blonde – I wouldn’t have got this far if I was
Although we’d all hope that Hilton spends her days having her feet washed with gold leaf soap, shopping for huge diamonds and being fed foie gras, her schedule is pretty packed.
“Every day is different,” she says. “I always wake early to deal with transatlantic business calls, then there are meet and greets. Sometimes there are face-to-face business meetings where I’ll discuss the progress of certain products. Sometimes there are photoshoots or interviews. If I’m DJing, I’ll do soundchecks before a gig. It’s a rigorous schedule, but I’m a hard-worker. My social channels also take work; they’re very considered. I love my fans and I try to give them what they want.”
One of her greatest frustrations is that people still think she’s a spoilt, lazy rich girl and being underestimated by those in business.
“People don’t know about my work ethic,” she says. “They think I’m just a trust fund kid, but I’m down to earth and I’ve worked hard for everything. I had a certain persona on The Simple Life, but I was young and a lot of that was tongue-in-cheek. I’m not just a dumb blonde – I wouldn’t have got this far if I was.”
And actually, she’s pretty convincing. In the same way the Beckhams and Karl Lagerfeld have created marketable and lucrative personas which appeal and entertain, so has Hilton. In fact, Victoria Beckham is one of Hilton’s heroes, someone who “has transformed herself from a Spice Girl to the head of amazing fashion brand. And she has great skin too.”
It’s hard to tell when talking to Paris whether some of her comments are serious or whether she’s playing the part that we know so well.
Am I a feminist? Well, not totally
“Am I a feminist? Well, not totally,” she says. “Only in some ways. I mean, I’m independent. I DJ and do business in a man’s world. And I’ve built an empire. I’m all about girl power and I believe that girls have amazing power. I didn’t realise that when I was a teenager and I don’t think you ever do until you lived life a bit. Actually, maybe I am a feminist.”
Her rise from simply a reality TV star to a brand in her own right is not dissimilar to friend Kim Kardashian. Paris and Kim were family friends; they’re parents knew one another and so the two hung out as children and still do as adults. Did she foresee Kardashian’s success?
“She’s always had a great work ethic like me and she’s always been determined,” she says. “And that’s what it’s all about. I’m so proud of her. When she’s at home, she’s very normal like anyone else with a glamorous life. She’s chill; she’s so sweet.”
However, such is her schedule that she has no time to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians. In fact, the only shows she watches are The Simple Life (It’s so iconic, it’s still one of the funniest shows ever made.”) and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. For now, life is about work, not play, and her goals are firmly laid out – a mix of domestic bliss and professional success.
“In 10 years’ time, I want to be married with kids, but to continue working,” she says. “I want to have my own line of hotels around the world and keep being involved with charities. I want to be happy.”
Kim Kardashian always had a great work ethic like me and she’s always been determined
When she talks about her work and business, she is truly animated and she has a lot of advice for any budding entrepreneurs.
“You must believe in yourself and not listen to too much negativity,” she says. “Aligning yourself with the right people is important and working out what your business should be. Concentrate on social media too, as it’ll massively help build your career – it’s a real tool. Then sending your products to the right people – get it seen on people you like. Really though success is about working hard.”
She finishes her interview by telling us “Bye honey; it’s been good talking to you doll” and I can’t help but feel smiley and positive. It turns out that Hilton’s business model of charm and hard work is pretty easy to fall for.
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Paris Hilton Limited Anniversary Edition EDP is available to purchasefrom selected Superdrug stores and Superdrug.com, priced at £40. Hilton will be appear at Superdrug in Liverpool ONE from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Wednesday 13 May 2015 to meet with fans and sign the fragrance.