It’s time to give credit where credit is due.
The Paris Hilton influence is undeniable. Think about it: In her The Simple Life days she brought Von Dutch trucker hats and Juicy Couture tracksuits to the forefront of Y2K fashion. When she wore pigtails, we wore pigtails, when she wore Uggs, we wore Uggs and when she hit the red carpet in various show-stopping gowns, everyone from Kate Middleton (seen here) to Khloe Kardashian (seen here) to Carrie Underwood (seen here) followed suit.
Oh, and then there was that time in 2016 when Kendall Jenner literally wore an exact replica of Paris’ 21st birthday dress to her own 21st birthday. Mic drop.
So now that we’re on the same page, here’s the part where we picked up the phone and called Ms. Hilton to talk fashion, Kendall’s B-day and Juicy tracksuits. (Yes, really.)
“Back in the day, when I was a teenager,” she started. “I moved to New York, and there was literally nobody dressing like me. In the socialite scene, no one knew how to react. I still looked sophisticated, beautiful and chic, but it was something they hadn’t seen.”
We talked about her moving to the Big Apple when she was 16-years-old, and really finding her fashion stride there shopping at stores like Patricia Fields and Hotel Venus, “and all these really fun stores downtown on Eighth Street when they used to be there.” Something that did come as somewhat of a shock to us was when she mentioned, “Before I was into the social scene, I was a complete tomboy. Always in things like jeans and T-shirts.” Having a hard time picturing young Paris in anything other than glittering gowns and velour? Us too.
“I had never been to events or anything,” she continued. “Then when I moved to New York, I just started building my own style. At the time, I didn’t have a stylist or a publicist or any of that, it was just my sister and I going to cool stores and picking out all these really interesting pieces that nobody else was really wearing back in the day.”
Her personal style was never calculated; there was no formula. It merely came from a place of an innate eye for high-fashion items—ones few could pull off as genuinely as Paris.
“Now, I really dress for the occasion—it depends,” she said. “If I’m going to be in a boardroom at a business meeting, I’ll go full-on businesswoman in Chanel suits, but then if I have to DJ, I’m in a completely different outfit. I guess you could call it like a raver-Barbie look. It just depends. I don’t really have one particular style I just like wearing things for whatever mood I’m in.”
Which makes total sense as to why the style icon still rocks a Juicy tracksuit to this day.
“I never stopped wearing them,” she noted. “I’ve loved Juicy since the day they came out—ever since they launched. Actually my friend Laura was their publicist, so I literally was sent every color and every style. Every single week, I was getting new shipments in. And I’m so glad I actually kept the ones I really loved because now they’re back! I don’t think there’s anything more comfortable to travel in, to workout in or to walk around the house in than a Juicy tracksuit.”
And those aren’t the only Paris Hilton signatures making their way back into mainstream marketplaces—with the help of Kendall Jenner, Paris’ infamous 21st birthday dress (designed by Julien Macdonald) is back and making its rounds in both fast-fashion and high-fashion stores.
“It makes me feel happy when I see somebody wearing something I’d already worn before,” she stated. “I was actually at her birthday and when she walked in, I immediately was like, ‘OMG that dress. That’s my 21st birthday dress!’ And I was like, ‘Where did you get that,’ and she said, ‘I saw the pictures of your birthday dress and I told this designer to make it because I thought it was amazing.’ It’s the perfect 21st birthday dress. She looked like a sparkling diamond. I loved that dress on her, and it brought back such good memories from my amazing 21st birthday.”
At this point, we only had a few minutes left with Paris, so quickly we got in some style advice-type questions—and our findings were as follows.
A post shared by Paris Hilton (@parishilton) on
“[Every woman] definitely [needs] a little black dress in [their closet], like your LBD,” she noted. “A cool leather jacket—just a black leather jacket to throw over things—and Paris Hilton shoes from my new collection because I really love them and they’re really pretty.” She then laughs, and continues.
“I like jeans, but there’s just some jeans I’m not into. Like really baggy ones that have frayed denim at the bottom. I just don’t like that. I love chokers, and I’m actually coming out with some in my accessories line. I love over-the-knee boots like the Stuart Weitzman ones—I have a bunch of them. And bomber jackets with a great print on them or ones that say something fun on the back. Oh, and jumpsuits! I’m really into jumpsuits. I think they’re elegant, they look chic and they’re cool.”
So to ensure your closet is Paris-worthy, forgo your distressed denim and swap them for chokers, thigh-high boots, bomber jackets and jumpsuits. This information is solid gold. Then she leaves us with this.
“I think it’s great to not only follow trends, but to be a trendsetter. To come up with your own aesthetic and your own style—something you feel great in, and confident.”
Oh, and her latest catchphrase (the one we asked her to come up with in case she theoretically had to switch it up from her iconic “that’s hot”) would be, “Fierce thing! Or I like saying lit.”