Sliving with the original influencer—Paris Hilton—in the city of dreams, Mumbai

In a Bazaar India exclusive, Paris Hilton dons the sari, talks about her life, and takes us through her latest perfume launch, Ruby Rush.

Harper's Bazaar India

Paris Hilton is one of the most famous faces in the world...she is attractive, entrepreneurial, and able to lead an army of fans hanging on every word. And yet, beyond the music videos, television appearances, and endless pink-hued references, she remains an enigma of sorts. In an exclusive with Bazaar India, Paris speaks about the launch of her new perfume, Ruby Rush, her new idea of what’s ‘hot’ now, and more...

It’s the early 2000’s, and you can’t turn a corner without bumping into a photograph (or a catchphrase), linked to the tall, blonde, American ‘It Girl,’ Paris Hilton, the original influencer who burst onto the scene with such impact that she defined, rather effortlessly, an entire generation. There were the low-waisted track pants, the plunging necklines, the diamanté-studded mobile phones, and her royally spoilt Chihuahuas that went with her to the red carpet...

But behind the façade of a celebutante was a young, enterprising businesswoman, who capitalised on her image, trademarked her catchphrases, and made a killing from simply turning up at events. And today, the multi-hyphenate has added many more feathers to her tiara—DJ, musician, activist, podcaster, real estate magnate, and the founder of her eponymous line of perfumes. In Mumbai, Bazaar India met with and photographed Paris, as she shared details about her life, loves, the latest perfume from her line, Ruby Rush, and more...

image: Sari, Manish Malhotra. Choker, Raj Mahtani Couture Jewels. Shoes, Paris’ own.

Nandini Bhalla: You were the original influencer, much before the term became popular. What are your thoughts about social media and its power today?

Paris Hilton: “Well, yes, I was an influencer before there was even a name for it. And now, it’s just reached this whole new level where anyone can become something if they have a talent or something to showcase through their platforms. I think it’s a really exciting time for creators to be able to make their dreams come true and build a brand or a business.

My advice is to just not let it go to your head because being in this industry, for over two decades, I’ve seen so many people come and go, and in the end, I think it’s really about having a good heart and a good head on your shoulders.”

NB: You’re busy doing so many different, wonderful things—what is your ultimate productivity secret?

PH: “I just love what I do. And I think being an Aquarius, I’m a naturally creative person. I love to be able to create beautiful things for people to enjoy. My family really instilled the ethic of hard work in me, and I really wanted to make a name for myself and work hard... I’ve been working on my fragrances, clothing line, music, art, NFTs, and my advocacy work. So yeah, it is a lot. I’m always joking with my friends, that I need to get a couple of clones so I can be everywhere at once. But I’m so proud of the empire that I’ve built.”

NB: And tell me about your brand-new scent. What does it smell like? Does it smell ‘hot’?

PH: “Yes, very hot! It’s very sexy, and it’s called Ruby Rush. It has a cherry-like scent that makes it the perfect perfume to wear on a date. I always get so many compliments when I wear it. And it’s perfect for the holidays. It’s such a gorgeous bottle, with red and metallic tones. Everybody has been loving it, and I was so happy to have this new fragrance. I think it’s going to be perfect for the Indian market as well.”

NB: What is your earliest memory of a scent?

PH: “I think back to memories of when my little sister and I would go into my mother’s boudoir where she had this gorgeous crystal display case with all of her perfumes. My sister and I would love spraying ourselves with the perfumes! And I told my mom, ‘One day I’m going to have my own Paris Hilton perfume’. Now, releasing my 28th fragrance is a dream come true.”

NB: You are famous for the catchphrase, ‘That’s hot’...What does ‘hot’ mean to you now?

PH: “‘Hot’, to me, is different from what it meant when I was younger. Today, I think legislation is ‘hot,’ all the things that I’m doing on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, standing up for other people, making a difference and impact in the world, and really just carrying on my family’s legacy of philanthropic work... I think that’s what’s ‘hot’.”

image: Lehenga, Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika. Earrings, Renu Oberoi.

NB: And there’s a new term that you’ve come up with—sliving... Tell us more about that.

PH: “Sliving is a movement and a lifestyle. And it’s a word that I invented, which is basically ‘slaying’ and ‘living your best life’.”

NB: What is the one thing that people tend to get wrong about Paris?

PH: “That I’m a dumb blonde. I’m not. I’m just very good at pretending to be one.”

NB: What are your hopes and dreams for the coming future?

PH: “I’m just so excited... I’m about to celebrate my one-year anniversary with [venture capitalist] Carter [Reum] on 11/11. He’s such an incredible man, and I’m so lucky to have found my partner and someone I can trust and build a life with. We can’t wait to start a family...we just got our new house and moved in two weeks ago. There are so, so many exciting things happening and I’m really excited for our future together.”

Photographs by Arjun Mark, Styling by Mohit Rai

Make-up: Steven Tabimba. Hair: Priyanka Borkar. Fashion Assitant: Shubhi Kumar. Set Design: Samia Iqbal.