Photo credit: Stephen Busken
A mother, a wife, an actress, a businesswoman and now a designer, it seems like there is nothing Kathy Hilton is not willing to take on. Known for entertaining, traveling and taking care of her large (and very busy) family, Mrs. Hilton believes luxury should be accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be a Hilton to enjoy life and you definitely don’t need millions to dress like one. She took the time to talk to The Pursuitist about her new clothing line, the challenges and what it takes for her to truly feel pampered.
1. You have traveled the globe and no doubt have seen some amazing corners of the world. Can you tell us your favorite places to visit?
I would say I am incredibly happy when I get off the plane in Maui. That is our favorite place to vacation. We love staying at the Four Seasons there. Also, London and Paris. Those are exciting places for us to visit.
2. We know you love to entertain in your beautiful home. But when you choose to go out, what great restaurants would you recommend?
Our favorite restaurants to eat at are Dan Tana’s, Mr. Chows, Madeo, and believe it or not but we love stopping and grabbing In n’ Out Burger!
3. When you need a day to pamper yourself, where do you go to relax?
Usually, when we go on a holiday. When I am on a vacation, I try to get a massage. When we are in Maui and the kids are out doing their thing, it’s my time to take that time for myself and I book a massage at the Four Season’s Spa. I also love getting mani/pedis. It’s the small things that I squeeze in to get a moment for myself. When we are in Las Vegas, the Wynn has an amazing spa. I love it there. I don’t really get much time to pamper myself when I’m working, I get really busy. Vacation time is when I get to fully relax.
4. Tell us what inspired you to start your own clothing line? Why now?
I was approached by Steve Lang, owner and CEO of Mon Cheri. He called for a meeting and asked me if I would like to do a clothing line. I almost fell over! What girl wouldn’t?! I told him I would like to do something affordable but beautiful, well made, with a great fit. I wanted it to be classic and wouldn’t break the bank. I’ve been lucky enough to wear some fantastic designer dresses and wanted to create something with a great design but also accessible to everyone without spending thousands of dollars.
5. What’s different or unique about your brand from other collections that are out there today?
I have to be all over it. I’m not just the license, I’m involved in every step of the way. I wanted to create something for me, my friends, and my children. In other words, I wanted to design for all ages. I love seeing everyone from teenage girls to women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s all finding something in my collection that they would wear. I think the fact that we have a very wide range of designs that appeals to different age groups and have different styles is what makes us stand out. We might have a short sleeve shirt in one fabric and style but then create the same “sister” piece in a quarter and long sleeve to maintain variety.
6. LA is full of great shopping. Besides your own line, what are your favorite designers?
I love Valentino, Oscar De La Renta, Nina Ricci, Dolce and Gabbana.. I love mixing current designer pieces with vintage. Sometimes I have never even heard of the label but that’s why the vintage finds are so great.
7. Do your daughters, Nicky and Paris, like to give you input while you are creating your collections?
I have to be honest, they have their own lines and I have mine, so we are all very busy with our own businesses. If it so happens that they walk into the studio while I’m working, sure, I’ll ask them what they think because I love getting everyone’s opinion. When we have family dinners, we don’t talk about business and try to spend quality time. However, when they found out I am starting this collection, they were very proud. Recently, Nicky interviewed me for her upcoming fashion book. I was very honored. We always support each other and cheer each other on.
8. What would you say is the biggest challenge of starting your own line?
There is so much more to designing a dress than people think. The technical side of it can get very complicated, which I have learned a lot about. Getting samples back and having to send it back because it looks nothing like what you hoped it would can get a bit frustrating. Picking the right fabrics, cuts and textures must be a very thought out process. But on the upside, sometimes they come back looking even better than you anticipated.
9. What is your next venture? We hear you have your sights on furniture and jewelry?
We are already in the talks for handbags, shoes, and luggage. My home collection is also something I am very eager to start very soon.
10. Do you think there is a way to make luxury accessible to everyone?
I absolutely do. Luxury is very relative. To me, luxury can be taking a lovely bubble bath with candles then wrapping yourself up in a nice soft towel. Luxury is not about money, it’s about appreciating the small yet luxurious things everyday.
For more information, view Kathy Hilton’s collection here.
Vilte S. Holstad is a publicist and freelance writer living in Venice Beach, California.