Paris Hilton’s business empire gets a makeover

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In today’s crowded influencer space, one of the original creators of the personal brand is looking to reclaim her crown.

Paris Hilton is back on TV screens with cooking show on Netflix,

his 2020 documentary “This Is Paris” and a new reality show about his engagement with venture capitalist Carter Reum en route. She has a new dissertation in the works, has started podcasts, and sold NFT art.

“I have built a global business and brand over the past two decades,” Ms. Hilton said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “I wanted to take it to the next level and bring all my businesses together under one media entity. “

She started her new business, 11:11 Media, with Bruce Gersh, a former media executive at Disney and Time Inc., to cement and grow her brands.

In the 2000s, Ms. Hilton burst into popular culture at the start of reality TV, with “The Simple Life,” ensuring her image as the quintessential socialite – the party mogul’s great-granddaughter. Conrad Hilton hotel. She quickly became one of the first influencers of the digital age, before the term existed or the proliferation of Facebook or Twitter, not to mention the cult of celebrity on Instagram and TikTok.

Paris Hilton is the great-granddaughter of hotel mogul Conrad Hilton.


Photo:

Brendan Forbes

“Paris is considered to be one of the first modern celebrities, who could be defined as a young woman who is not famous for a talent like acting or singing, but simply because she is beautiful and wealthy,” said said Kelli Burns, associate professor at Zimmerman. University of South Florida School of Advertising and Mass Communication.

Ms Hilton paved the way for others who followed, like Kim Kardashian and her sisters, Dr Burns said. While the exploits of the Kardashian clan have been widely consumed over the 20 seasons of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” Ms. Hilton has also quietly created her own empire.

According to 11:11 Media, Ms. Hilton has built a business since 2006 with 45 brand name stores and 19 product lines, which have exceeded $ 4 billion in sales. She has launched 27 fragrances in the past 15 years and has invested in wellness products and a plant-based seafood business.

But social media influencers aren’t just for the rich or the few anymore. Ms. Hilton’s re-emergence comes at a time when famous influencers are the norm. Building a lucrative personal brand is a highly competitive field. Not only are TikTok influencers half their age signing deals in media, TV, and movies, celebrities and athletes have also turned to building brands and businesses based on who they are.

Influencer marketing is on the rise and the size of its market globally has more than tripled between 2017 and 2020, said Lubna Nafees, associate professor of marketing at Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University.

“Paris Hilton and Reese Witherspoon… are present where their consumers are. “


– Dr Lubna Nafees, Associate Professor, Appalachian State University.

“More and more, consumers are turning to social media influencers to find products and services that fit their lifestyles, which means brands need to go through this channel in order to be present where they are. find their consumers, ”said Dr. Nafees, who studies the impact of influencers on social media.

This also applies to more traditional celebrities. Basketball stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant mix their star status with companies spanning entertainment, endorsement, investment, and other industries. Actresses Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Alba have successfully built media and consumer goods businesses.

“This is exactly what Paris Hilton and Reese Witherspoon are doing. They are present where their consumers are, ”said Dr Nafees.

Ms Hilton said she believes media companies in the future will rely less on traditional brands alone and rely more on personalities instead. “I believe we are living in the golden age of creators,” she said. Competition in the influencer space remains fierce. But Ms. Hilton has a distinct advantage, according to Dr. Burns: She has been in the public eye for more than two decades.

“We are anchored by a global personality and someone who has a real influence on consumers,” said Mr. Gersh, Ms. Hilton’s business partner.

To carve out new spaces, Ms. Hilton doubled her roots in media and fashion and was an early adopter of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

“I’ve always been into innovative technology and I’m an undercover nerd,” Ms. Hilton said.

The heiress and entrepreneur said she believes NFTs are the future of art, in part because they empower digital artists and creators of all types to own the use of their work. In June, Ms. Hilton became an investor and advisor in Origin Protocol Inc., a decentralized e-commerce platform. In August 2020, Ms Hilton sold an NFT drawing she made on her kitten’s iPad for charity. The artwork was purchased with a cryptocurrency.

As for the name of her new business, Ms. Hilton says she always found special meaning in the 11:11 era. “It’s my favorite time of the day,” she says. “I love posting on Twitter at 11:11 am to remind myself and my fans to ‘make a wish’, keep taking risks and keep dreaming.”

Write to Talal Ansari at [email protected]

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