Paris Hilton Remains the Ultimate Aughts Muse

Paris Hilton has cultivated a personal style as recognizable as a logo. Her velour jumpsuits, platinum blonde hair, and commitment to sexiness have been a constant since she and sister Nicky emerged on New York’s social scene in a whirlwind of flashbulbs and designer dresses in the early 2000s. Not since the ascent of rebel debutantes like Cornelia Guest in the 1980s had a socialite moved from the niche notoriety of Manhattan’s inner circle to the world stage with such speed. Still, the Hiltons eclipsed their predecessors by inviting the cameras into their lives. Paris, in particular, was unapologetic about her ambitions. Before everyone live-streamed their lives and launched a beauty line, she showed an entrepreneurial aptitude that helped create our current landscape of influencers, viral stars, and performers whose appeal lies in their ability to get candid. At 40, she’s still the blueprint for modern fame.

On the fashion front, Hilton was no less influential. During the paparazzi boom of the early aughts, round the clock coverage of celebrity outfits led to a slew of trends. The inescapable popularity of Juicy Couture, luxury it-bags, and Ugg boots could not have happened without Hilton and her ilk. Their embrace of a deceptively casual So-Cal look that prioritized oversized sunglasses, low-rise jeans, and bright colors continues to impact the way we dress. When Kendall Jenner dons a replica of the sparkling silver Julien Macdonald look you wore to your 21st birthday party to celebrate her milestone b-day, it’s clear that you’ve reached icon status. Still, in the 2000s, when ‘worst dressed lists’ and shows like E!’s scathing Fashion Police were the norm, Hilton’s signature look wasn’t always appreciated. Rather than tone down her image to appease critics, Hilton amped things up, developing a caricature version of herself for The Simple Life that played on the critiques of her heiress, ‘Barbie airhead’ persona.

Though she’s stuck to favorite labels like Diane von Furstenberg and Alice + Olivia, Hilton has expanded her repertoire as she’s grown up, showcasing the mature business woman side of herself. [Could you add a line here that’s like, her personal style is more tk, relying on tk pieces] When she fronts a Valentino campaign alongside her sister and mother, hits up Rihanna’s Diamond Ball in marabou feather-covered Pamella Roland, or takes a place in the front row at Monse, Hilton is providing a glimpse at her current fashion perspective. Still, you never know when Hilton will decide to get nostalgic—just last week, Hilton was spotted out in Los Angeles wearing what else, a hot pink Juicy Couture tracksuit.


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