It has been over 15 years since Paris Hilton first became a household name, traipsing across the tabloid pages in a Juicy Couture tracksuit with an ever-present Chihuahua on her arm. The hotel heiress quickly established herself as one of Hollywood’s leading socialites, and unforgettably went on to star in The Simple Life alongside her BFF at the time, Nicole Richie. Because Hilton was better known for saying “that’s hot” on repeat than she was for making business deals back then, it may have been easy to underestimate her career potential. But behind her public persona, there was a determined powerhouse ready to launch a multi-category brand that would long outlast her squad’s L.A. nightlife reign at then-hotspots Hyde Lounge and Les Deux.
Now, a decade after The Simple Life’s series finale, Hilton has launched her 23rd—yes, really—fragrance, Rosè Rush ($60, perfumania.com). But if you picture her quietly holed up in an office somewhere, hatching her next corporate venture, think again. The 36-year-old entrepreneur hasn’t slowed down one bit, and she’s currently in the middle of her DJ residency at Ibzia’s Amnesia nightclub. It’s Hilton’s fifth consecutive summer spinning tracks for her Foam & Diamonds event on the island, but she’s also working on her own new music. She’s preparing to drop an album—her latest single, “Summer Reign,” dropped in July—and she just announced a new TV show that’s in the works, to boot.
When asked about how she balances her many professional endeavors, Hilton doesn't sugarcoat her work ethic. “I just don't stop,” she told InStyle last week while chatting on the phone from Ibiza. “I’m an Aquarius, and I’m a very naturally creative person. Success is something that really drives me, so I'm a workaholic. From the moment I wake up until I go to bed at night after DJing, it's all about my business, my brand, and my fans. It’s a lot of work, but I really enjoy it.”
And when work gets overwhelming, Hilton turns to those in her inner circle—namely, her boyfriend Chris Zylka. “I’m lucky that my boyfriend is so supportive,” she said. “He's always with me, and it's nice to have a boyfriend who’s also your best friend and is always there to support you.”
Below, Hilton gets candid about her latest endeavors, plus why she still re-watches The Simple Life and never stopped wearing her Juicy sweats (spoiler alert: she was actually wearing them during our chat). Scroll down for our full interview.
You just launched your 23rd fragrance. How is this one different from the first 22?
I really love to make something new and different for my fans every single time, and my Gold Rush fragrance was such a huge success. So I decided to expand on that collection and give everyone a new rush—a Rosé Rush! Really, I just wanted to create a fragrance that makes a woman feel confident and romantic and sexy when she sprays it. And I wanted the bottle to be feminine and sexy, just like the scent. With the pink glitter on it, it's very girly and very “me.”
Is this your go-to date night scent right now?
Yes, definitely! I've been wearing it all summer and everyone loves it—especially my boyfriend.
How many perfumes are in your regular rotation?
I don't bring all 23 with me when I travel, because that’s so many bottles. I bring maybe 10 of them. It just depends on what mood I'm in. I have so many fragrances that there's literally one for each kind of mood. So I switch it up, like, every other day, and I’ll wear something different at night, too.
What's one scent that brings you back to a specific memory when you smell it?
Gardenia. It reminds me of my mom because when I was little, my sister and I always used to go into her perfume boudoir to play with all of her perfumes. I remember telling my mom, "One day I'm going to have my own perfume." Now I can't believe that I have 23. It's like a dream come true. That's always a memory I have of when my mother and I had that conversation.
You’re also spending your summer DJing in Ibiza, for the fifth year in a row. Looking back now, do you think your younger self would be surprised by your career path?
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be veterinarian because I loved animals so much. And then when I moved to New York, I realized that I wanted to become a businesswoman, when I was around 15 years old. I never knew it would be on this level. I always knew I would do big things, but I had no idea it would be this much. And now being a resident DJ at the best club in the world, it's such a huge honor and so much fun. I love being on stage and performing in front of thousands of people every weekend. It's the best party on the island, so it just makes me feel really happy about how my life is.
What's on your party playlist right now?
I love Calvin Harris. Anything he makes, he's just so talented. Chuckie is another one who makes amazing songs. Martin Garrix’s new summer single is really amazing. And then also my new single that I just released called "Summer Reign,” which I've been performing all summer at my shows. It's been a really amazing response.
Speaking of your new music, you're working on finishing another album. What can we expect?
With my new album, I wrote all the songs. They’re all just about my life and about love, having fun, and being happy. It's a lot of dance music—electro-pop and progressive house. It's really inspired by my time in Ibiza and at Burning Man.
You used to be a staple on the nightclub scene. How has club life changed for you over the years, especially now that it’s part of your job?
I'm so busy with work that I don't really have time to just go out just for fun anymore. Anytime I’m out, I'm there for work—I’m either DJing the party or booking the party, or it’s a special occasion. I've been to so many parties that it's just not as fun as it used to be, which is a good thing. I have a lot more fun there working and performing and DJing and playing my music than just going out. I do it more for business now.
You recently tweeted that you have a new TV show in the works. How does it feel to be returning to TV?
Yes—I can't say anything yet, but you’ll know very soon. For so many years, I've had networks sending me different show ideas, but I've turned everything down because nothing really interested me. All of the ideas I was hearing were just basically the same things that were already on TV, and nothing was innovative or new. Plus, I was so busy. I’m traveling the world and running a huge empire, so I don't really have time to have cameras following me around everywhere. I didn't make the time because I've been more focused on my business and being a businesswoman. But I love being ahead of the curve and being a pioneer, and the show is innovative and very different from anything I've ever done. There's nothing like it out there. I'm looking forward to people getting to check it out.
This month marks 10 years since The Simple Life’s series finale. Can you believe it’s been that long?
No, not at all. I think that it's true that time flies when you're having fun, because I can't believe it's been that long. I love that show still. I think it's so funny and timeless and there's no reality show that's ever been like it or ever will be. I love still watching it—my boyfriend and I watch it all the time and laugh. There are just so many funny memories, and Nicole is hilarious. I really love that show. There's nothing like it.
How do you think the show changed your life and subsequent career plans?
The Simple Life totally changed my whole life. It was one of the first reality shows, and from there, I think a lot of people obviously had misconceptions about me and assumed that the character I was playing was really me. But other than that, I built an amazing brand from that show and I had so much fun doing it. I love that people today still enjoy it and watch it.
Since the show ended, how do you think the public perception of you has changed?
I think everybody's finally realizing that I was in on the joke, and I was playing a character. I've really proved some people wrong in that I am an intelligent businesswoman. I knew what I was doing all along, and it feels good to finally get the credit that I deserved.
Back then, your wardrobe featured a rainbow of Juicy Couture tracksuits. And recently, the brand has been making a comeback. Are you into it this time around, too?
Yes! I'm actually wearing one right now—it’s black. I love them. I literally own so many and I just bought a whole bunch of new ones. They're so comfortable, and I never stopped liking them. I don't know how people didn't like them, but it's really cool to see that they're coming back in such a huge way. There's no sweat suit that's this comfortable and looks good. I love that Juicy’s back!
Do you still have all of your old ones?
My friend Laura was the brand’s publicist back then, and she sent me boxes of them every week. So I didn't keep all of them. I donated a lot of them and gave a lot of them away, but I kept all my favorites. And then I've ordered all the new ones. They've got a lot of new colors.
You’re known to post memes of yourself on Instagram. Is that your own way of poking fun at yourself?
I think memes are hilarious. I'm always tagged in them and my friends are always sending me ones of myself. I think it's fun when people can laugh at themselves and not care. I’ve seen memes with my picture on them that are being rude about other people, and I never would post something that's mean about someone else. But if it's something funny or that’s just kind of poking fun at myself, I don't care, and I’ll post it.