Heiress. Model. Socialite. Celebrity.
These have long been the words associated with American beauty Paris Hilton since a privileged life back in the early 2000s.
Her popularity began its rise when US television network FOX signed her up in a reality show titled The Simple Life, co-starring her equally privileged best friend Nicole Richie in 2003. Ironically, what catapulted Paris to fame was not her first foray into showbiz, but a leaked sex video with her former boyfriend Rick Salomon.
Following the scandal, a string of controversies involving alcohol and drug use surrounded the poor little rich girl. Paris’ profile on eonline.com, lists her arrest in 2006 for driving under the influence, after which she was charged with two misdemeanors and sentenced to 36 months on probation.
“Finding herself back in hot water,” eonline.com adds several years later, Paris’ arrest in Las Vegas for possession of a controlled substance, which the police caught in her purse. By admitting her guilt, Hilton avoided jail time and agreed to a plea deal.
But while such controversies will forever be recalled with the name Paris, they simply make the woman who she has become today, more interesting and admirable. For while she still lives the high life, maintains “hot” and “cool” as her favorite adjectives, and struts like a real life Barbie Doll, she has become a woman empowered by a purpose: To live up to the legendary name Hilton in her own brand of entrepreneurial success.
Paris was born to father Rick Hilton, grandson of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, and mother Kathy on February 17, 1981. Without a doubt, enterprise was sure to be in the baby’s blood.
In the meantime, Paris grew up living a life of luxury in Beverly Hills, California, and New York City. Transforming into a statuesque blonde beauty in her teens, she was easily signed under Donald Trump’s modeling agency, T Management. It was her runway stints that opened her to a life of partying and publicity.
Years later, she entered Hollywood and starred in various reality shows and films including The Simple Life (FOX, 2003), and the House of Wax (Warner Bros.
Pictures, 2005). She also recorded a self-titled album in 2006 that produced the massive hit, “Stars are Blind.”
While the glitz and glamor of showbiz seemed to sidetrack the entrepreneur in Paris, her business acumen still shone through, and at the right time. Capitalizing on her fame, she slowly built a business empire that no one can dare call a rich girl’s whim today.
Since 2004, Paris has released 15 fragrances in partnership with various companies and personalities, grossing over $1.8 billion.
In 2006, she established Paris Hilton Entertainment (PHE) to manage all her brand licensing, and entertainment and endorsement deals. Not just the face of the company, she simultaneously took an active role in overseeing product development, design, marketing and promotions.
Today, PHE has grown into a multi-billion conglomerate with products ranging from shoes, handbags, watches, lashes and nails, sunglasses, clothing, and more, sold in Paris Hilton stores in over 40 countries worldwide.
On March 13, Paris inaugurated her 18th brand, the Paris Beach Club of the Azure Urban Resort Residences in Parañaque City, Philippines. It marked her very first venture in the realm of real estate, which had long been the domain of the Hilton name.
Dream come true
Before the official inauguration and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the upscale beach club, Paris conducted a press conference with Philippine editors, reporters, photographers and videographers, none of whom can deny the woman’s star power.
There, Paris expressed immense joy over her newest milestone as a businesswoman.
“It is one of the proudest and happiest moments of my life,” the Hilton Hotels heiress exclaimed.
According to Paris, she had always admired and looked up to his the great grandfather Condrad Hilton who had “done so much in the real estate world.” So to open the Paris Beach Club was “a dream come true” for her.
She said, “I have always been following their footsteps, and for me, this is the first step toward that.”
The Paris Beach Club complements the Azure Beach, the very first man-made beach developed for a residential community in the middle of Metro Manila.
For Century Properties co-chief operations officer John Victor Antonio, who welcomed Paris to Manila for the second time, the Hollywood celebrity was the perfect personality to partner with for the exceptional project.
“Paris loves the beach. Filipinos love the beach. It was a natural fit,” he simply said.
Antonio added, “We wanted to provide our residents with a world class residential resort experience so we chose to partner with an equally world class personality who is known for her fine taste, having been exposed to the world of real estate development early on, and having visited the world’s top beach destinations.”
Paris’ expertise came to the fore in designing the beach club where she incorporated aspects from her favorite destinations such as Ibiza and St. Tropez, thus giving the property an “international flair.”
So meticulous was the businesswoman that it took six months of back and forth e-mails before she personally completed and approved the final CGI (computer-generated imagery).
Finally seeing the outcome of her work in the flesh this week, Paris said she was utterly satisfied. “I am so happy with how everything turned out,” she declared. “If I’d be living in the Philippines, I’d live here. I’m so envious of people living here. It’s so cool.”
It was in 2011 when Paris first visited the country to officially sign her partnership with giant real estate firm Century Properties. Back then, her five-day itinerary included opening her Paris Hilton store and meeting with Century Properties executives, among others.
This year, Paris returned for a week-long visit to finally open the property after three years, and during her stay, became very active in promoting Azure and the Paris Beach Club, including the Philippines, to the world.
She took to her theparishiltonchannel.com, Twitter and Instagram to do so.
Prior to her arrival in Manila, Paris had already announced the opening of “her first real property in the Philippines” in Instagram with hashtag “#DreamsDoComeTrue.”
On March 9, she posted a video of her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International on Instagram. Accompanied by several airport security personnel, the blonde beauty sported a pair of sunglasses, a blue maxi dress and a leather jacket.
Jetlagged and all, the Hollywood persona could have rested on her first day but instead went out to explore the city.
“On her first day, Paris was initially scheduled to rest to prepare for the tiring shoot days and events that lay ahead,” said Henry Barrameda of Century Properties PR and communications team in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine.
“But she requested to see more of the city—see what Filipinos do, see what Metro Manila and the Philippines has aside from the beaches, and go to places where she can take photos and interact with people,” he added.
The result, Paris sightings all over the city of Manila. She was spotted posing in front of the Rizal Monument in Luneta, visiting the old churches in Intramuros, buying souvenirs, and even having her first taste of dirty ice cream.
From these experiences, Paris said she found Filipinos to be “sweet, welcoming and warm.”
The days that followed became a busy whirl as Paris embarked on a series of shoots and meetings with Century Properties, considered by far as the most ambitious property developer in the country.
In another Instagram video Paris uploaded of herself, she wore a blue-sequined dress while splashing away at the Azure Beach. The post promptly caught the attention of the entertainment section of Huffington Post, which just as quickly reported, “Paris Hilton Celebrates New Beach Club By Frolicking In The Waves.”
On another post, she complemented Filipino celebrity stylist Liz Uy who she worked with for another campaign shoot. “Thanks @LizzzUy for your wonderful fashion book & styling me during my @TheParisBeachClub #Azure campaign. Love your style,” read her caption.
Then on Thursday, Paris finally and triumphantly led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Paris Beach Club, a grand event that was capped with a party attended by the Philippines’ who’s who.
Partied out, Paris uploaded photos of herself “chilling” at the beach club, and before flying out on Friday, ended her week with the post, “Good Afternoon Philippines, such a wonderful trip, maraming salamat and mahal ko kayong lahat.”
Other photos Courtesy of Century Properties