Meet Paris Hilton 2.0.
Love her or hate her, there’s no denying Hilton is one of the savviest stars of her generation. Using her status as a hotel heiress, she became a jet-setting socialite, eventually scoring her own reality series, The Simple Life, which ran for five seasons from 2003 to 2007. Her arrests, breakups and conflicts made headlines for years, all while Hilton furthered her fame with MTV’s Paris Hilton’s My NewBFF (and its two international spinoffs) and Oxygen’s The World According to Paris. Since then, Hilton has worked hard to move past the image she perpetuated.
“I want to be known as a businesswoman. I don’t want to be known as a reality TV star; I don’t like the way that sounds,” Hilton, who’s worth an estimated $100 million, tells Harper’s Bazaar. As for her party girl past, she says, “I have really grown past that. Now I mostly focus on my empire and my brand, rather than everything else that comes with the reality star kind of life.”
Hilton knew how to market herself long before it became the norm. “When I moved to New York as a teenager I would just party all the time, but now people think I am actually smart because I have parlayed that into a very lucrative business,” she says proudly. “With partying, no one had ever been paid to go to a party. I was the first one to kind of invent that in Las Vegas at 20 years old. Back in the day, a DJ would maybe get $200 and they would be hidden in a DJ booth. Now they are headliners, making millions of dollars—the whole attraction is them.”