Create & Cultivate 100: Entertainment: Paris Hilton

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If there is one defining moment in Paris Hilton’s career, it’s after The Simple Life in 2003. When she shot the show, Hilton had “no idea how huge it would be,” but once it aired, she recalls not being able to leave her house “without being mobbed every single day.” After that, everyone wanted to be and look like Paris Hilton. She made pink Juicy Couture velour tracksuits the early ‘00s uniform (now, she’s a “juicy girl for life”) and we all rocked low-rise jeans with jewel-encrusted Von Dutch baseball caps just like her, too. 

But while it looked incredibly glamorous from the outside, turns out, it wasn’t all sparkles and rainbows for Hilton. In her new documentary, she opens up about her life and how she spent two decades playing a character to hide behind. But now, she’s ready to be herself and help other women who are struggling, too.

“Right before The Simple Life aired, I had a conversation with my mom who told me to never change no matter what happens with the show,” she says. “My family has always taught me to stay grounded and work hard for everything in life. It is always important to be true to yourself.”

Today, Hilton has turned that authenticity into a multi-million dollar empire. Read on to learn more about her journey, how she handles failure, and the advice she’d give her younger self.

You are a serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses. Take us back to the beginning!

When I was a teenager, I moved to New York and it really opened my eyes to a new world and inspired me to become the business woman I am today. I met David LaChapelle and became his muse. After we shot the Vanity Fair feature, my life had completely changed. I was being invited to all of the best events and parlayed it into an extremely lucrative business.

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Entrepreneurship is all about taking calculated risks. What’s the most pivotal risk you’ve taken, and how did it change your path?

It would definitely have to be doing The Simple Life. It was one of the first reality shows and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Looking back, I am so happy I did it. We had the best time and it launched a completely new path for me to be able to build the empire I have today.

2020 presented everybody around the globe with new, unprecedented challenges. How did you#FindNewRoads + switch gears towards your new version of success?

2020 is definitely all about pivoting. My YouTube documentary, This Is Paris was originally supposed to be out in April and due to COVID-19, we pushed it to September. We shifted everything to a virtual press tour and the response has been incredible. In the beginning of quarantine, it was also important for me to do virtual DJ sets for various charities. While it was definitely different, I enjoyed being able to perform for my fans and raise money for those affected by Covid-19.  

What has been the biggest learning curve throughout your career?

There are constant changes in this business and it’s important to always stay ahead of the curve. I am always developing new ideas with my team and looking for innovative ways to continue growing my brand.

When you separate yourself from your job title and the bells and whistles of your business or career, who are you and what do you like to do?

A lot of people would be surprised to know that I am homebody. My favorite days are being at home in my Juicy Couture tracksuit with my boyfriend and my pets and making art. 

It’s easy to celebrate the wins, but how do you handle failure or when something hasn’t worked out for you? 

I feel like everything in life happens for a reason and I always take everything as a learning lesson and new experiences to grow. 

If you could go back to the beginning of your career journey—with the knowledge you have now—what advice would you give yourself? 

There are so many things that I wish I knew back then that I know now. One of the biggest things would to not be so naïve and trusting of people because not everyone has the best intentions. 

Fill in the blanks:

I turn bad days around by…
Thinking about how blessed I am and appreciating everything I have in life.

Three qualities that got me to where I am today are…
Strength, passion, and confidence.

My perfect day begins with…
A morning kiss from my boyfriend, Carter.

The craziest thing I’ve done for work is…
Bleach my eyebrows for a Vogue shoot—something I hope I never have to do again.

To be successful, you need to…
Have a hard work ethic and dedication to your craft.

 

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