Checking in With the Audacious, Ridiculous, Indomitable Paris Hilton
If you ever find yourself sitting at the Soho House waiting for Paris Hilton, who is already 20 minutes late, you’ll quietly wade through a cocktail of emotions: a mix of fear, adrenaline, and disbelief, all on the rocks. After all, Paris Hilton is one of the most famous women in the world—one who managed to galvanize dubious fame into a worldwide brand, a reported $100 million fortune and, more than a decade after The Simple Life premiered, a still-ravenous following of almost 13 million Twitter followers.
She’s so recognizable that you half expect the place to light on fire when she arrives. But when she finally does—with little fanfare and no entourage—you can’t help but feel disappointed. It’s not that she’s not gorgeous (her complexion is Photoshop flawless) or supermodel skinny (she’s all elbows and knees) but rather that she’s an actual human. It’s kind of a letdown that she’s not a robot, a human Barbie, or a runaway from Madame Tussaud’s. Another thing you’ll notice: Instead of funneling catchphrases through an o-shaped kisser—like a blow-up sex doll come to life—Paris Hilton’s speaking voice is low with a gravelly timbre. But more than anything, despite the fact that her curvier contemporaries currently own the sauciest slug lines, she still knows exactly what she’s doing:
I read something about how 99 of the top 100 EDM DJs are men. You just signed a $100,000-a-gig contract with Harrah’s hotels and casinos and have said you’re one of the highest-paid DJs in the world. Do you feel like you’re in a boys club?
I don’t call myself a DJ—I don’t say, “Oh I’m DJ Paris Hilton”—it’s just part of what I do. I’ve been doing celebrity appearances before anyone was ever really paid to do them. When I was 20 years old, I did the opening of the Palms Hotel. That, I think, was the first kind of celebrity appearance in Vegas. It’s kind of just the next step in my appearance world. I’m not just showing up and saying “Hello” in the microphone.
You were one of the first reality stars ever. Do you ever watch ‘The Real Housewives’?
I watched the first season, but it’s so mean now.
It’s the most anxiety-inducing show ever! Do you think reality TV was different for you and Nicole?
In the beginning, The Simple Life wasn’t scripted. Towards the end they kind of ran out of ideas so they’d be like, “Okay guys do this now.” Bunim/Murray are known for writing out a script. I think a lot of the shows nowadays are like that. But, I love The Simple Life. I still watch it. It’s so funny.
Speaking of reality, do you have residual feelings left over from being a victim of The Bling Ring?
Of course. Just knowing that all of these kids were chilling in my bed and hanging out in my club and jacking everything out of my closet…It’s crazy to me that they had the balls to do that.
I remember watching the movie and getting pissed off. There was no rush or sense of urgency…
Yeah, I was pissed off too watching it! I was sitting at the premiere literally angry because there was so much I didn’t even know had happened. Afterwards, I talked to Sofia [Coppola] and was like, “Were they really going to take my dog?” And she was like, “Yes.” What kind of sick people were they?
Have you ever heard from those kids?
No. I wouldn’t accept their apology. What they did was so wrong. And I feel like they didn’t even really pay for what they did.
Sorry to ask this. But, you’re Paris Hilton. That’s nuts to me. Do you feel famous?
Yeah, because I have been doing this for so long—since I was a teenager. But I don’t feel like I’m different than anyone. It just may be harder for me to go to Disneyland or the mall because I have to talk to everybody. You always have to be on. If I go to my ranch or somewhere private, then I feel normal. I think it’s other people who make me feel different.
When you wake up in the morning, do you have one million tweets?
Yes. And texts. People are always texting me. I have to change my number all the time. Sometimes random people get my number—I don’t know how—and they just say, “Hi! Do you want to get married?” It’s kind of uncomfortable.
So you have 40 international Paris Hilton stores?
45. And we’ll be opening another 200 in China this year. And another 50 in India. We open new ones every month.
What kind of inventory does a Paris Hilton store sell?
I have 17 different product lines. They carry handbags, sunglasses, fragrances, watches, shoes, belts, my nail line, and my eyelash line. [Laughs] So everything. It’s kind of like a Paris store. You know how Hello Kitty has a store with all their products? It’s kind of like that.
Do you ever say no to a product?
I say no to things all the time. We get really weird requests all the time. I really only put my name on things I love and I know I’m gonna wear and it’s not something that’s beyond lame.
So you wear your stuff?
All the time.
How do you shop?
I love going to TopShop and H&M. I always wear a wig and a hat and sunglasses and a hoodie and try and go undercover. I love shopping online. I love Net-A-Porter and Nasty Gal and Joss and Main—I just downloaded an app for that.
Do you dress differently when you’re in New York versus when you’re in L.A.?
When I’m in New York I dress more, kind of, East Coast socialite. My sister lives here too and she’s really strict with the way people dress. She’ll be like, “What are you wearing? I hate that pink.” She’s really bossy with me. And I love her fashion sense so I always listen to her.
Why do you feel compelled to work?
I could have easily been a trust fund kid, but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to be independent and not have to ask for anything and feel proud of myself. Once I started it just sort of snowballed into such a huge thing that I just keep on wanting more.
Do you have any arbitrary spending rules? Do you set limitations?
Since I’m a businesswoman and I make my own money, I don’t want to be dumb with it. I’ve seen a lot of people waste money on silly things they don’t need. I’m not gonna go and waste $100,000 on an outfit because I think it looks cool.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to have a few kids, have hotels all over the world, and be a brand. I really admire people like Oprah and Martha Stewart. I’m not going to be doing appearances, though. I’ll just be a mom—but I’ll still run a business. I’ll always be a businesswoman no matter what.
Why does someone at your level of fame feel compelled to do press?
As a businesswoman, you have to do things for your brand. I love making money. And when people read about my products they buy them.
Did you purposefully take a hiatus from the fame machine?
I just stay out of trouble. I’m so busy with work. I’m literally on a plane every single day. I’m not really in Hollywood that much. I don’t really hang out with any of those people. I don’t go out just because it’s Thursday night and this club is supposed to be fun anymore. It gets boring after a while.
What’s something people don’t know about you?
A lot of people see me on the red carpet being glamorous and really girly, but they don’t know that I’m a tomboy at heart. I love to jump out of planes, go fishing, surfing, camping—
Camping or glamping?
I mean, it’s always better when you have a trailer…
Courtesy: Justine Harman