Kathy Hilton Interview: Uncover Her Couture, Kathy Hilton Collection

Kathy Hilton

We had the honor of conducting a Kathy Hilton interview, who is married to Richard Hilton, a member of the Hilton Hotel family. Kathy is also the proud mother of four children, including daughters Paris Hilton and Nicky and two sons, Barron and Conrad.

Kathy Hilton personifies today’s modern businesswoman as a designer of her own clothing company, the Kathy Hilton Collection. This lifestyle mogul can literally “do it all.” As an active philanthropist, her efforts have been recognized for supporting Erase MS, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Kathy has lived a lifestyle of wealth and glamour and gained interest in the fashion industry by attending the most coveted fashion shows around the world. She’s very proud of her Kathy Hilton Collection, a line of exquisite evening wear for women of all ages. The clothing line mixes an element of Hilton’s high society at affordable prices, to the marketplace.

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Kathy, thanks for taking the time to talk to us this afternoon. Let’s start with a few questions about your family before we jump into your exciting, fashion clothing collection.

Question:
You’ve been married to your husband Rick Hilton for almost 34 years – what do you attribute the success of your longevity to ?

Answer:
We met while we were very young and started out in a small apartment in New York City. It’s important to do things on your own and grow close together. Give respect to one another and spend good, quality time with each other. While we lived in New York, we had the chance to do our own thing and it allowed us the freedom to find out about ourselves.

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Question:
For any newlyweds out there, what key advice can you give them ?

Answer:
Take care of your marriage and spouse. Surround yourselves with the right people and not those who could lead you down the wrong path. As a wife, I think it’s important to help clean the house, cook the meals, and always look your best.

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Question:
Are you a proud mom, seeing the business success of your two daughters – Paris and Nicky ?

Answer:
I’m very, very proud of both of them. Paris has her line of clothing, shoes, sunglasses, and is now on her 18th fragrance. Nicky moved back to New York and has her own line of clothes, is writing a new book on fashion, plus her jewelry. She’s been busy interviewing. I’m really very proud.

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Question:
I found it quite interesting that you are good friends with LaToya Jackson. How did that friendship develop ?

Answer:
Michael (Jackson) was one year ahead of me in school and we had three classes together. I became very close to him, then of course also become good friends with LaToya and their whole family since I was thirteen years old. It’s a friendship that has lasted all these years. We’re like family, and it’s very lovely.

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Kathy Hilton dress collectionKathy Hilton dress collection

Question:
Let’s now talk about your exciting fashion clothing line – The Kathy Hilton Collection. What initially drove you to enter the fashion world ?

Answer:
Of course, it’s every little girl or woman’s dream to design a dress. Steve Lang, the owner of Mon Cheri came to me and asked if I’d do a dress line with them. Since I’m a lover of beautiful clothing and been lucky enough to wear those beautiful garments, it’s something I really wanted to do. We had a talk and I had only one condition – I want to be 100% hands on, not just a licensee. I’m a control freak and have to be involved with everything. We do about 125 dresses and at times, we have to edit out 20. Sometimes the ones we think are the best, don’t end up that way. We offer very timeless, beautiful dresses for special occasions. They are designed for women of all ages – me, my nieces who are in their teens & early twenties, to my daughters and sisters. They are for women who want to look beautiful and timeless, and wear season after season, without breaking the bank.

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Question:
What is the main inspiration behind your designs ?

Answer:
My inspirations are my travels and everything I do in my life. Everybody wants to feel the excitement of walking the red carpet and to look beautiful. I’m inspired by everything from jewelry, to being in a museum or walking in a garden. I was just in London and love flowers and all the colors. People too, not necessarily a Hollywood actor but someone who just walks into a restaurant, can inspire me. Also looking at a portrait in a museum. I love shopping in vintage places and get ideas from walking around or simply seeing a unique fabric in a Paris store.

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Question:
Who is your target customer ?

Answer:
For women who really want to look like a million dollars, but not spending a fortune. My woman is very confident and comfortable enough in her own skin to not have to wear a label because it’s one or two thousand dollars. Sixty percent of my dresses are short and forty percent are the long style. I’m in over 250 stores all over the world, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, which is very exciting to me.

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Question:
What do you feel makes your clothing line stand apart from the competition ?

Answer:
What I see today are dresses under $500-600 in clothing stores that all look like pageant dresses and look cheesy. I don’t see anything for a woman between 35 to 45 or 55 to 65. Mine are very beautiful and customers initially think they sell for $1,000 or $2,000 each. They look like they are part of a couture tour. When you walk into the department and see my dress next to others, mine stands out because it doesn’t have all that beading and frills all over the place. I pay attention to the details. You wear the dress, the dress doesn’t wear you. I think it’s fun to accessorize. You can dress my dresses down or you can dress them up. You can still wear a pair of nice earrings or a beautiful necklace with my clothes. What I feel is important is we use one of the top fit models in New York, which is very expensive. Our dresses are not just designed on a computer. We test drive every button and now use four different manufacturers and have learned what they each do well – one is better with beadings or lace, how it drapes on her body, etc…

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Question:
With the success of your fashion line, do you see yourself expanding into other markets, such as jewelry, fragrances, handbags or other accessories …. ?

Answer:
I would love to, but do believe you have to crawl before you can walk. Timing is everything. I have been offered an at-home bedding line deal and a shoe line. If I can incorporate that with my dresses I will. One thing at a time but I would love to have pieces that would go with my collection.

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Question:
Where do you see the future direction of fashion such as new trends, styles or fabrics ?

Answer:
Everything comes back in style over time. Right now it’s the beautiful colors as people are getting away from black and getting more into the jewel tones – kind of like vintage with a contemporary edge. A little edgy but in a lady-like way. Dresses are getting a little longer. Heather grey, oyster are getting more popular as colors. White is getting huge, it now can be worn year-round.

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Question:
As an authority on the latest beauty trends – what tips can you offer that busy woman who’s trying to balance a career and family life ?

Answer:
Drink lots of water, fiber shakes and try to eat healthy. Taking care of your skin. I have been blessed by good skin from my mother but I wasn’t a teenager who baked out in the sun so I’m grateful. Never going to bed without removing your make-up. I keep a little rose water in a little spritzer in my purse, so if I’m out I can enhance the make-up and gives it a little glow. Hydration is very important. Always changing up your shampoo and make-up every month or so because after a while, it doesn’t have the same effect. Try a little Vaseline on the eyelashes and also do an exfoliation once a week. I love going to health food stores and the little salon stores and talking to the personal to get their tips on what’s popular.

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Question:
What do you see yourself doing in the next phase of your life ?

Answer:
Working and continuing with my clothing line. Would love to get my shoe and handbag line going. I had my own store in L.A. for eight years so I understand the retail market. It would be fun to have my own in-home brand.

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Question:
Finally, how would you like to be remembered – what’s your ideal Kathy Hilton legacy ?

Answer:
That I was always a nice and sensitive person. Always been philanthropic and enjoyed helping other people. Someone who worked hard but I’m also silly and a prankster.

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We hope you enjoyed the Kathy Hilton interview. You can view the entire Kathy Hilton Collection at http://www.kathyhilton.com as well as find a nearby store that carries her clothing line.  Kathy Hilton would love to hear your feedback so follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KathyHilton

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