Wonderland.

PARIS HILTON

We chat to the face of the noughties about fame, her upcoming documentary, and a long-forgotten emo phase.

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture bag

Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture bag
Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO

Taken from the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster. Order your copy now.

I don’t think there’s a Von Dutch trucker hat, or rhinestone tiara in the world Paris Hilton hasn’t tried on for size. The former socialite and noughties icon has literally done it all, whether it be serving fast food at a cut-price burger joint, cleaning the rooms of a nudist resort, or even packing sausages (with dog food) during one peculiar stint as a butcher. She’s managed to perforate the public consciousness on all levels, no matter how high or low. I mean, name another celebrity with a tangible presence in Mecca and the middle aisle of a South London Lidl – I’ll wait.

Like many, I was first introduced to Hilton through a re-run of her seminal reality TV show The Simple Life. Shortly thereafter, I adopted her signature (now trademarked) catchphrases “That’s Hot” and “Loves It” like a brainwashed zombie, employing them in conversation whenever remotely possible. I thought of her when I bid on Vintage Dior sunglasses on eBay, and dreamed of bags I could house my own adorably named chihuahua in, should I ever get one. Even a highly-publicised string of burglaries that took place at her Beverly Hills home were deemed worthy of a feature length film. I could list countless other instances Hilton was at the forefront of popular culture for simply going about her life, but then we’d be here for an eternity.

Already in character when she picks up my call, Hilton greets me with her infamous soft-yet-husky drawl, exactly how I imagined she would. Already living up to each and every one of my expectations, I’m immediately curious to know what I, and the public at large, have always had wrong about the mega-star. “People that don’t know me assume that I’m another ditsy blonde, that I’m spoiled… but I’m actually the complete opposite,” she tells me. Hilton describes herself as hardworking, down-to-earth, and tomboyish, you may even be surprised to know she was even on her school’s ice hockey team.

“I did go through a little gothic-emo phase”, she admits, prompted by a recent Instagram post from one of her most prolific stan accounts, paris2000s. A quick scroll through the meticulously curated grid is like pouring through the pages of a Hilton family scrapbook, an in-depth chronicling of her many adventures throughout the early aughts and beyond. “I love [him]” Hilton giggles, “he finds all these photos I’ve never even seen before, it just brings up so many memories.” When you consider the Malibu Barbie aesthetic she’s attained for all these years, the revelation is a total U-turn. “I loved Marilyn Manson,” she beams, adding that she’s now actually friends with the gothic superstar. Hardly a sentence you hear every day, is it?

Though Hilton is no longer subject to the unrelenting front pages of tabloids for public misdemeanours or manufactured spats between her famous alum, this doesn’t mean public fascination with the star has dwindled. Just last week Urban Outfitters announced they were reissuing her pioneering 2006 musical debut, Paris, in vinyl format. “I saw that on Instagram!” Hilton exclaims of the news. “I actually ordered like 50 of them to have in the house before they sell out. I’m so proud of that album – I think it was so ahead of its time, and every single song on it is just so epic and timeless.”

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture outside
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture palm trees

(LEFT) Gloves by JUICY COUTURE, briefs by AGENT PROVOCATEUR, tights by FALKE, earrings by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, sunglasses by MIU MIU
(RIGHT) Catsuit by YOUSEF ALJASMI, gloves by JUICY COUTURE, sunglasses by VERSACE, earrings by LECIEL DESIGN

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture outside
Gloves by JUICY COUTURE, briefs by AGENT PROVOCATEUR, tights by FALKE, earrings by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, sunglasses by MIU MIU
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture palm trees
Catsuit by YOUSEF ALJASMI, gloves by JUICY COUTURE, sunglasses by VERSACE, earrings by LECIEL DESIGN

She’s certainly not wrong, the album is a masterclass in genre-bending experimentation, where hip-hop jams transition into breath taking ballads, or seductive slow burning R&B. Hilton even throws in a sparkly rendition of Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” for good measure. Although she maintains that naming her favourite track would be too hard, she does have a particular soft-spot for pure-pop classic “Nothing In This World”, and of course her debut smash hit “Stars Are Blind”. “It’s just so iconic, every time I hear that song it puts me in the best mood, every time I go to the club or a party a DJ always puts it on [..] I just love it.”

And when she wasn’t in the studio changing the face of pop music as we know it, Hilton was running amok in the city of LA, storming the runways and red carpets of every major bash you could think of. Like Monroe to the sixties, or Cher to the seventies, Hilton’s style maintains it’s own legacy within the glossy nostalgia of the noughties. “So many things I used to wear back then nobody was wearing,” she says, “I had no stylist, I did this all by myself.” Whether intentionally or not, Paris created a blueprint for the mini-skirt wearing, chihuahua carrying Y2K/McBling glamour girl. Even now, you could throw a stone down any busy street and hit at least three people donning a staple of her it-girl days, whether it be mid-riff baring rhinestone halters, slinky monogram pochettes or the era’s most defining outfit – a bold velour tracksuit a-la Juicy Couture.

The luxury athleisure brand was a huge pillar in the foundation of Hilton’s recognisable Valley Girl persona, redefining what we now know as sportswear before skate brands like Supreme or Stussy were legitimised amongst the high fashion crowd in the early 2010’s. “I’ve never stopped wearing it since it came out, it’s basically my uniform,” Hilton admits, rather proudly too. “I own like, I don’t even know… hundreds of them in every different colour.”

When we both consider why Hilton herself is so emblematic of that era, for a moment she seems stunned, perhaps never being able to explain it herself . “I always loved being ahead of my time and just being an innovator, setting the precedent and creating a whole new genre of celebrity – I think that was the beginning of all that,” she tells me. This advent of a ‘new celebrity’ came with the changing pop-cultural landscape championed so heavily in the noughties. People were bored of supermodels and the Hollywood elite – they wanted real, or at least what they thought was real. Whilst MTV had The Real World, and Channel 4 had Big Brother, in the early 2000’s US network Fox were in need of their own feel-good fix for primetime viewing – enter Paris and BFF Nicole Richie. The girls were approached to star in a new reality show called The Simple Life, where without their phones, credit cards and all the creature comforts that come gift-wrapped inside the 90210 postcode, they’d be shipped across America to work menial jobs in exchange for petty cash.

Spanning five amazing seasons, (four if you discount the awkward fourth instalment filmed in the midst of the duo’s bitter feud), The Simple Life was an undeniable success, and the pair became overnight sensations. On the topic of creating some of the most hysteric and quotable moments in TV history, Hilton is effusive about the show’s esteemed legacy: “It’s just so iconic and timeless, I don’t think there’s ever – there is no reality show like it.”

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture hallway
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture stairs
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture armchair

(LEFT) Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO
(MIDDLE) Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO
(RIGHT) Bodysuit by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, crystal bracelet by ON AURA TOUT VU, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture hallway
Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture stairs
(MIDDLE) Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture armchair
Bodysuit by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, crystal bracelet by ON AURA TOUT VU, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

The only question that lingers now seems to be the chance, if any, that in the age of the most unimaginable reunions, reboots and returns we might ever get another season. “They’ve asked me to do it,” Hilton teases, “but my schedule is just so insane that I don’t know where I’d find the time.” Though crushing all my hopes and dreams with this revelation, Hilton admits she still frequently watches episodes back, and that she’s even been asked by some unnamed influencers and YouTube stars to reprise her role just for a day. “But nothing will compare to Nicole and I,” she affirms, and I agree. Some things are better off left alone.

With entrepreneurial drive quite literally in her DNA, it wasn’t long before Hilton began expanding her own brand off the back of the show’s success. Having built a multi-million-dollar empire around her ditsy blonde party girl image, no shy feat in just under two decades, Paris has her dreams of becoming a master perfumer to thank for it all. “Ever since I was a little girl my mother collected perfumes, she had this huge boudoir and I remember my sister and I going in there and spraying [them] all on us and I said ‘One day I’m gonna have my own Paris Hilton perfume’”.

That day would soon come, but instead of stopping at just one signature scent however, Hilton now boasts 25 distinct fragrances to her arsenal, the history of which are more than worth a few online deep-dives, perhaps even a permanent installation at the Tate. More opportunities soon came knocking, and before you know it Hilton had expanded into 19 different product lines, offering up everything from handbags to trendy pet apparel.

“Basically any product you can name, I make it.” With 50 retail stores across the globe, and a few hotels too, asking the mogul where she plans to take things next almost seems redundant, but Hilton has an answer. “I’m actually doing venture capital now,” she says nonchalantly, as if placing an order at her regular boozer, “so I’m investing into a lot of different projects.” Among them is The Glam App, which Hilton describes as ‘the Uber of beauty services’, another is Plotaverse, which she explains is the source of the immersive edits of contemporary Hilton-alia made by her ‘Little Hiltons’ that adorably crop up on her Instagram feed. I have to say, the stars’ pivot from residencies in Ibiza into a Steve Jobs-esque involvement into the grassroots of tech is nothing short of a Madonna-level rebrand, though for Hilton this has been a gradual process, rather than a ginger haired pivot into disco – which I hope isn’t entirely off the cards when she does eventually release a sophomore album.

“I’m getting into the next phase of my life, I’m gonna continue DJing and [doing] those appearances, but I’m becoming more of a business woman and entrepreneur,” Hilton says. And, never one to miss a trick, she’s invited along documentary-maker Alexandra Dean for the ride. The resulting footage has culminated into This Is Paris, a directorial feat several galaxies removed from any other Hilton-centred production we’ve been blessed with thus far (we see you The World According To Paris).

Offering Hilton a rare chance to be totally and unabashedly herself, Dean and her crew followed Paris around for an entire year, asking questions no one has dared asked before in an attempt to capture the highs and lows of a sort-of second coming of age. “I just felt this was the perfect time,” she explains, “I don’t think two years ago I would’ve been ready to do a movie like this. But, now, I’m in the best place I’ve ever been in my life, I feel comfortable with I am and just to share things I’ve never shared before. I feel like it’s time for people to know the real Paris.”

The decision was part and parcel of a deal to launch Hilton’s own YouTube Channel, a move that sees her join the likes of Ashley Tisdale and Naomi Campbell in giving their notoriety a second lease of life through social media. The channel is essentially her own E! Network, another buoy in the online ocean where fans can immerse themselves further in Hilton’s day to day existence, satiating any need for a Hilton cooking tutorials, Q&A’s with sister Nicky or even a car tour. It’s all there for the taking.

Ultimately though, Hilton says she hopes to inspire and surprise her critics with the emotional blockbuster. “I feel they’ll understand me,” she says of the production. “It’s fun, it’s funny, it makes you laugh and cry, there’s so many emotions when watching this film.”

It’s not long before our interview time comes to an end, and after forensically delving into her past and appraising her present, I’m keen to know what Paris sees for her future, or at least the rest of 2020. “I feel like this is my boss babe year,” she says, echoing a quote your pink-gin obsessed mum would share on Facebook. “I’m just gonna continue Sliving (Hilton’s latest abbreviated trademark, a combination of slaying and living), killing it and living my best life.” Now, that’s hot.

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture outside
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture backwards
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture hallway

(LEFT) Coat by JUICY COUTURE, earrings by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, sunglasses by MIU MIU, shoes by GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI, tights by FALKE.
(MIDDLE) Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO
(RIGHT) Top by JUICY COUTURE, skirt by OH POLLY, earrings by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, shoes by CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture outside
Coat by JUICY COUTURE, earrings by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, sunglasses by MIU MIU, shoes by GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI, tights by FALKE.
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture backwards
(MIDDLE) Bodysuit, gloves and bag by JUICY COUTURE, crystal choker by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, tights by WOLFORD, ring by EPA JEWEL, Paris’ own earrings, shoes by JIMMY CHOO
Paris Hilton interview in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Rollacoaster wearing Juicy Couture hallway
Top by JUICY COUTURE, skirt by OH POLLY, earrings by HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, shoes by CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

Watch the behind-the-scenes video below…

Paris Hilton wears
Juicy Couture
Photography
Brendan Forbes
Fashion
Gorge Villalpando
Words
Bailey Slater
Hair
Abena Shear
Makeup
Gilbert Soliz at The Only Agency
Manicurist
Quisa
Production
Federica Barletta
Production Assistant
Penny Nakan
PARIS HILTON