We Love Paris
Posted On Sep 23, 2015
She’s come far from her days of Simple Life stardom and as a paparazzi plaything.
by RUCHEL LOUIS COETZEE
photography by DON FLOOD
Ask any of Paris Hilton’s 13.3 million Twitter fans why they religiously follow her every move. The universal consensus will be that they achingly covet her rich and famous lifestyle. She is Robin Leach’s modern day “Champagne wish and caviar dream,” done up with an heiress pedigree, perfectly coiffed blond hair, endless legs, and a come-hither look that has Romeos around the world professing undying love. But are these fans fawning over the real Paris Hilton, 34, or her ditzyblonde Simple Life character? With almost 50 retail stores around the world, fragrance number 18 hitting the market, a third single (“High off My Love”) climbing the music charts, a third year as resident DJ for the Foam and Diamonds party in Ibiza, and her latest Paris Hilton beach club in the Philippi nes, Hilton has her finger firmly placed on the turntable of pop culture. Call it street smarts or moxie, but we’re all grooving to her globe-dominating beat,
NEW YOU: Paris, you’ve just come back from Ibiza. What did you think when you saw yourself on the billboard at Club Amnesia?
Paris Hilton: I was so excited. Amnesia has been one of my favorite clubs since I was a teenager, and now coming back from my third year as resident DJ there, it’s a dream come true. It’s where the biggest and best DJs in the world play, so to be part of that is such an honor.
NY: Late last year, you won “Breakthrough Female DJ of the Year” at the 2014 NRJ DJ Awards in Monaco. What went through your mind as you walked up on to that stage?
PH: I was just so happy and excited, like “Oh, wow, this is proving all the haters wrong.” It feels really good to be successful, to do something that I’m passionate about and be liked for it.
NY: You say you love classical music when you relax in the bath. How important is music to you?
PH: I’ve always loved music. I have been playing the piano and violin since I was three years old and have been singing my entire life. I’ve also gone to music festivals and raves since I was 15, so music has always been a huge part and passion of my life.
NY: What about being a singer?
PH: Ever since I was a little girl, my mom used to sing with me and we had great voices. I knew I wanted to do something with it, and it feels amazing to be releasing my second album and touring around the world, DJ’ing everywhere.
NY: Did the French DJ David Guetta ever teach you anything?
PH: I have been friends with him for a long time and I love what he does. He’s so talented and really knows how to throw a show. Any time I go to his parties, I’m really inspired by everything that he and Cathy Guetta have created together. I’ve also worked with some of the best trainers in the business for the past five years now to learn many different skills and tricks—fun things you can do while you’re up there.
NY: How did you feel when you learned the famous rapper, Birdman, insisted he only be interviewed by you?
PH: It makes me feel good. I love that people I’m inspired by and look up to love to speak to me about music and that they are inspired by me. That feels really nice.
NY: What is a typical day for you?
PH: I do so many things that it’s never a typical day for me. I’m always getting up early, getting on a plane, traveling, and then throughout the day I’m doing interviews, meet-and-greets with my fans, and meetings with my design team. Then at night, I get to DJ in every single country I go to. I make the most out of every single day.
NY: What if one of your employees in one of your 50 stores would like to share an idea or something with you?
PH: Well, I’m a very busy person, so you always have to set up meetings. But I make time for all my different business partners, all my brands. I now have 17 different product lines and we are about to open 200 more stores, so there’s a lot of work that goes into it. But I am always there, 100 percent, for all of my product lines.
NY: Are your stores all outside of America?
PH: My brand is all over the world and we are going to be opening a store in Maui and then Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. I love expanding all around the world.
NY: What do you aspire to be?
PH: I just want to be what I am today—a businesswoman, a brand, an artist, an entertainer, and someone who lives life to the fullest, makes people happy, and brings excitement to the world.
NY: As you grow and change will your store brand change?
PH: I’m always changing. Even with my stores, every year we are always changing the look. It’s becoming more mature with a totally different vibe. It used to be all very pink and “princess,” and now I’m going more into white and gold and black and silver—just making it a little more elegant.
NY: Who came up with the idea of the Philippines Beach Club resort?
PH: I always wanted to follow in my family’s footsteps and get into real estate. I was approached by Century Properties, had a meeting with them, and immediately we knew it would be a great partnership. When they showed me their project, I was so excited to sign on and we immediately started designing it.
NY: So you helped with the design. What were your criteria?
PH: Yes, I designed it. I have travelled all around the world, so I basically took all my favorite elements from all my favorite places around the world and put them into my beach club. It has been such a huge success that we are now under construction for the second property, which is even bigger and more fabulous. I’m excited to do these all around the world.
NY: Are you the next Donald Trump?
PH: I think I am doing something completely different from anybody else.
NY: What advice do you take from your parents?
PH: My family and I are very close, so I’m always asking for advice from my mom and dad. I mostly go to my mom for advice on my fashion brands. When I’m choosing a new fragrance—the bottle, the campaign, or the name of new perfumes—my mom is usually one of the first people I go to. She has such beautiful taste and I really respect her opinion. As for my father, I usually go to him for more of the business advice on deciding contracts. If I’m getting into something that has to do with real estate, I always go to him first.
NY: When it comes to design do you defer to you father first?
PH: My dad is more into the business part of it. Anytime there is something creative, I just go to myself for that.
NY: You’ve released your eighteenth perfume line in 10 years, and they’ve grossed more than $2 billion. This puts you right up there with Elizabeth Taylor’s perfume line. Do you remember her as a child when she was married to Conrad Hilton?
PH: Yes, she was just such a beautiful person inside and out—so warm and smiling all the time. She had such a beautiful heart and was an incredible woman. I always admired her, respected her, and looked up to her since I was a little girl. It was exciting to have her be part of our family.
NY: When it comes to the ingredients in the perfume, who decides whether there should be, for example, more rose or vanilla?
PH: I do. It mostly depends on what I’m going to name the fragrance and what the campaign is going to be like. Then I will have a meeting with my fragrance company. They will have the factory bring over maybe 50 or 100 different scents and I go through all of them and mix them together to figure out the best combination. I always want my fans to have something new and different and something they can put in their collection. The fans love to collect the bottles.
NY: What happens as you are mixing the scents together?
PH: There are so many beautiful scents… It gets confusing sometimes because you just have to get rid of the last one and take in a new one. A lot of work goes into it. But it’s great to have my sister, mom, and friends there. I get everyone to vote. I make the final decision, but I love hearing everyone’s opinion.
NY: Your sister, Nicky, is getting married in July to James Rothschild. Who are you excited to meet from James’ side of the family?
PH: I have met his mother and his sister and they’re so sweet. I am so happy for my sister because he’s an amazing man and he loves her so much. He’s loyal and loving. I know that they’re going to be together forever and make the perfect couple.
NY: As the maid of honor, are you planning a bachelorette party?
PH: The party actually starts tomorrow. We’re flying to Miami and I have a whole fun weekend planned for us. Then I’m taking my sister and all the cousins on a yacht trip, so we are going to fly to Ibiza and from there go throughout the Balearic Islands to Mallorca through Ibiza for almost two weeks.
NY: Have you planned many surprises for her?
PH: I’ve planned a lot of fun dinners and we’re going to the zoo in Miami. I’ve set up a private tour; Nicky loves animals, too, so we get to go into this area and hold the baby tigers and play with all the animals. Then we’re going out to see Skrillex tomorrow night at LIV at the Fontainebleau. The next day we’re going to do a spa day, hang out, go shopping, get our nails done, our hair… everything. Then I am Dj’ing a big party at Wall nightclub that my sister and I are hosting called Paris and Nicky’s Ultimate Bachelorette Party. I’m going to be playing all of her favorite songs, just talking about her in the microphone all night and making it really special for her.
NY: With James’s one sister, Kate, also being in the music business, do the two of you collaborate together?
PH: I love her! She actually just emailed me last night and sent me this YouTube video of this 3D hologram that a DJ is using in Asia and she’s like, “You need to do this for your live shows.” She’s also going to connect me to someone to help make a hologram for my shows. She always has great ideas. She is an awesome sister-in-law.
NY: What about marriage for you?
PH: I would love to get married one day. I think that’s what every woman wants in life—to find someone, a partner, to be with forever and have a family.
NY: In your book you offered the following advice: “Don’t lie to your boyfriend, don’t give sex easily.” Do you still feel that way?
PH: Yes, I still feel that way. That’s how I was raised since I was a little girl. My mom always taught me to be that way and that’s the way I am going to be teaching my daughter to be as well.
NY: So the plan is to have a daughter in the future?
PH: Yes, I would love to have a son and then a daughter and then either a son or daughter, because I always wished I had an older brother to watch over me and look after me. So I would love to have a boy first to watch after my little girl when I’m not going to be there, when they’re at school.
NY: Who’s your perfect husband?
PH: My perfect husband would be someone who is my best friend and who I can trust with anything… Someone I know would never lie to me, or hurt me or cheat on me. And someone who would always be there for me no matter what, who makes me laugh, is sweet, smart, and romantic, and has a good heart.
NY: How many guys are romantic today?
PH: There are some romantic guys out there still, but not like they are in the movies.
NY: Is it hard to distinguish whether a guy likes you or “Paris the brand”?
PH: It’s very hard. Even with friends, you never know what people’s intentions are; if they want to be your friend for the right reason. Dating someone is even harder because that’s someone you’re giving your heart to. If they don’t have the right intentions and really don’t love you for who you are, it’s very hard. I think that’s why it’s hard for me to find someone I could be with.
NY: How soon do you detect the difference?
PH: In the beginning, I wasn’t able to detect it. Now, after being in this business for so many years and seeing so much, I can detect it right away. I’m a very good judge of character now.
NY: Do you feel that social media diminishes our ability to flirt because we’re not making much eye contact with others?
PH: Most people are on their phones 90 percent of the time. Yes, I think it’s ruining romance a little. And people don’t talk as much. It’s more about texting something or sending an emoji or a wink or a kiss. I think when you are with someone and it’s a true relationship—true love—you should put down your phone sometimes and look at each other and talk instead of just text.
NY: What do you do when you make mistakes in life? How do you overcome the emotions?
PH: It’s all about living and learning from your mistakes, growing from them and not making them again. It just makes you a bigger and better person.
NY: What makes you happy?
PH: My family, my pets, my fans, being successful, DJ’ing, being up on that stage, and helping others. I love doing charity work and giving back. That’s something that really brings a lot of joy and happiness into my heart and my life, making people happy.
NY: What experiences have really touched your heart while doing charitable work?
PH: I have been doing charity work since I was a little girl. Anytime I visit certain countries, I will always visit different orphanages. There’s this one orphanage in India where all the children there were left there because their parents all died of AIDS and the children had it as well. They were all in there, just so sick. It broke my heart to see all these children left there with no families, with nothing. Even the people in the town were treating them in a bad way because of it. It just broke my heart. So I brought them all toys and art projects and they were saying, “This is so sweet, no one ever visits them and people are scared to hang out with them.” That just made me so hurt inside that these poor children, who are literally dying, are being treated like outcasts. That is just something that really stuck with me and I always think about. Right now it makes me feel like I’m going to cry…
NY: Are you going to use your platform to make a difference?
PH: Yes, I know that I have a voice to help those who don’t [have a voice], and I’m really going to dedicate my life a lot to that in the upcoming years.
NY: As you grow older, do you think you are going to slow down a little?
PH: I love what I do so much that I will slow down when I have a family. I’m not always going to be going to Ibiza every weekend and DJ’ing, but I do want to continue being a fierce business woman running my company, which I could do more from home with a family, not doing as many appearances. But I will never slow down.
NY: Do you get enough sleep?
PH: I try, but my schedule is just mental.
NY: Are you still on the junk food bandwagon, and if so how do you still look so great?
PH: Yes, and I don’t know. Because my schedule is so insane and I’m always traveling, never stopping, my body just burns a lot of calories, I guess.
NY: What’s your biggest fear?
PH: I’m not afraid of anything. I have no fear in life. Paparazzi don’t scare me. I’ve been in this business for 20 years now, so nothing scares me… except murderers and stalkers.
NY: What has scared you the most in the past?
PH: The scariest time was when this man came to my house. He had escaped a mental institution and he came with two knives and he was banging on my window in my living room trying to break through the door. And then my boyfriend at the time had to put a gun to his head and hold him down for an hour and a half while we waited for the cops. The fact that somebody could get into my gated community in my backyard… If my boyfriend wasn’t there that day, I don’t know what would have happened if he got in. Thank God I had someone there with a gun or I don’t know if I would be here today.
NY: What do you regret the most?
PH: Trusting certain people. I was very sweet and innocent when I was little, trusting of everybody. I thought everybody was good. I have now learned that you can’t trust everyone and that not everyone has good intentions. My biggest regret is letting certain people into my life who were bad people.
NY: There are reports you had some cosmetic surgery done. Is that true?
PH: I’ve never done anything in my life. Of course they’re going to say that. People love making things up, but I am very lucky that I listened to my mom through my young age. She told me to stay away from the sun, so my friends would be frying in the sun everyday and now they all look much older and all have Botox. I even asked my dermatologist if I should do it and he’s like, “I refuse to do it to you… Your skin is so perfect. I will not do it to you until you need it and I don’t know if you ever will.” I am happy with that. I have nothing against it; all my friends have done every-thing—boobs, nose, chin, cheeks. I live in Hollywood so I’m used to seeing it. It’s just that I’ve never wanted to do it and I’m scared to do it. I hate needles and I hate the thought of cutting into me. It just grosses me out. We can wear push up bras and things like that, so that’s what I do.
NY: What do you want people to know about the real Paris?
PH: A lot of people don’t know the real me. Just that the Paris they were introduced to over a decade ago on The Simple Life is not who I am. That was just a character I was playing. The real Paris is down to earth, sweet, real girl—woman now—who is a businesswoman and feels very proud. I have worked very hard and I have a really big heart.