Paris Hilton is a name that is synonymous with stardom. The model-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-DJ has hardly been able to avoid the limelight since adolescence. Her entire life has been documented and scrutinized like a celebrity version of “EDtv.” These days, however, it seems as though everyone is pondering the same question: “Where has Paris Hilton been lately?” And the answer is, just about everywhere. In fact, the 35-year-old is proving to be an exceedingly outstanding entrepreneur.

Thanks in part to her absence from the tabloid spotlight, most would assume she has been laying low, but the hotel heiress has actually been quite busy managing a multitude of business ventures. Hilton has spent much of the past few years as the resident DJ for Amnesia, Ibiza’s Foam & Diamonds night and has been traveling all over the world building her brand, or her “empire” as she likes to call it. For those unfamiliar, Hilton has coupled her media fame with dozens of stores and fashion product lines globally, including her own fragrance collection, rumored to have collectively made well over a billion dollars in revenue alone. And although there was some criticism surrounding the launch of her DJ career in 2012, the former reality TV star is fairing well, parlaying many of her parties into promotional events for new product lines.

In the midst of New York Fashion Week, we had the chance to chat with Hilton inside her newly acquired New York City apartment, where she was preparing to promote her newest and 20th fragrance, Gold Rush. Hilton credits her business-like mentality to her father and grandfather, whom she says served as her mentors. Though Hilton grew up in California, she was born in New York City, and says once she finally has a moment to catch her breath, that’s where she’d like to spend her time. And while the “famous for being famous” marketplace has become crowded in years past, Hilton has moved on, and is focused solely on her own success.

Paris Hilton

Photography by Jake Bailey

You recently released a new fragrance, Gold Rush. How do you and your team come up with new products for your brand?
I have an incredible team that I work with; we’re always bouncing ideas off of each other. Basically I run the whole show, but it’s great to have a team around me since I have so many different product lines. When I come up with an idea that really just makes me feel excited, we just go for it.

What’s involved in marketing your different brands? What’s your business philosophy?
With marketing, it’s so great nowadays with technology. Social media is a huge platform we use to market [the brand]. Whether it’s SnapChat, Instagram or Twitter, I love being able to connect with my fans in that way. Also, we do beautiful campaigns, billboards, and anytime I do a DJ event or party, I always try to incorporate whichever product I’m releasing at that point. Next up, I’m doing my Gold Rush tour and I’ll be playing in different cities around the world. So I think it’s great as a businesswoman and brand to always optimize my time and maximize the exposure for whatever product I’m launching.

With such a busy career, how do you like to spend your downtime? What’s your idea of the perfect luxury day/moment?
I don’t know what downtime is anymore. I haven’t had a day off in I don’t know how long. But if I did, I’d love to just be at home, you know, with my family and all my pets. I love to cook; I love to relax. But with my job and all that I do, it’s very rare.

Speaking of luxury, which fashion designer do you like to wear most? Which one makes you feel the most beautiful?

Paris Hilton

Photography by Jake Bailey

There’s so many designers I love, but I really love Charbel Zoe Couture. He is an amazing designer; he makes the most beautiful gowns and dresses that are just completely covered in Swarovski crystals. Anytime I wear it I feel like this sparkling diamond. I’m obsessed with everything he makes. Also my other friend Yousef al Jasmi, he makes the most beautiful dresses—I love them!

You’ve been all over the globe. What sets Manhattan apart from all the places you’ve been in your life? How much time do you spend here?

Well as you know I was born in New York so I’ll always be a New Yorker at heart. I think it’s one of the greatest cities in the world. I just wish I had more time to spend here; I actually bought this place this year. It’s kind of like my bachelorette pad, but I’ve only actually stayed here a couple of times because I’m constantly traveling. So one day I would love to spend more time in New York. My sister lives a couple blocks up the street with her husband and my newborn niece—I want to come here more to visit them.

You’ve done everything from real estate and DJing to modeling and acting. As an entrepreneur, what has been your favorite endeavor? Why?
I love everything I do. My biggest passion is being a businesswoman; building my brand and my empire is my number one priority, but as I said I love to optimize my time. So if I’m going to fly halfway across the world, instead of just doing one thing, I like to fill my entire day. So during the day I run my business, have my meetings, meet and greets, photoshoots, interviews— basically all my work things. At night, I’ll be spinning at a club or music festival. So from the time I land to the time I leave, I’m working. And I love doing that. I enjoy DJing because I love to entertain my fans and throw amazing parties; really see everyone having a great time. But being a businesswoman is the thing I love most; it’s what I’m most proud of.

How has the success of your family’s business inspired you and helped you build a good work ethic?
Immensely. Growing up in my family and having my father and my grandfather, who were such incredible businessmen, to look up to as mentors has really shaped the woman that I am today. I feel like being a businesswoman runs through my veins. It’s certainly influenced me in many ways. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m also happy that my parents made me want to do something with my life. I see a lot of kids who are just trustfund [babies] and they just live off their family and don’t work. I’ve never wanted to be that way. I’ve always wanted to make a name for myself and it feels good to do that and be independent; do things on my own and make my family proud.

Paris Hilton

Photography by Jake Bailey

If you could spend a month-long holiday anywhere in the world, where would it be?
One of my favorite places in the world is Bora Bora, it’s so beautiful. But if I had a month off, I would be at home with my family and my pets because I don’t get to do that. So home would probably be the place. I miss it a lot.


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