No doubt, you’ve heard of the mother of socialite Paris Hilton and fashion designer Nicholai “Nicky” Hilton. Perhaps you know she has her hands deep in the silky, soft world of fashion, as well.
What you may not know about Kathy Hilton, 54, however, is that she’s practical, philanthropic and generously shares some of the secrets that have kept her looking youthful and beautiful into her 50s.
Hilton, wife of hotel heir and real estate magnate Rick Hilton, spoke with ShopAtHome.com recently.
Q: The Kathy Hilton Collection is a line of affordable eveningwear inspired by your global travels. … But, how much fun should women who are over 50 really have with their wardrobes?
Oh, you can still have fun. But remember that less is more. If I have a top with a lot going on, I keep the pants simple. Even with hair and makeup, you don’t want to overdo it. When women try to look too young, it backfires.
Q: What are a few of the essentials for every woman’s wardrobe – the things we might want to spend a little more on?
I would say a beautiful pair of shoes and a great bag. If you have a simple, inexpensive black dress, you can make it look great with those two essentials.
Q: Do you always spend a fortune on your clothing?
Not at all. I was going to Buckingham Palace, and I had to find the perfect dress. I looked all over, and when I was in Vegas, I found that dress for $250. I dressed it up with beautiful bracelets, a rhinestone clutch and beautiful shoes, and I felt like I looked like a million dollars.
Q: Do your daughters catch the fashion bug from their mom?
Since they were little girls, they’ve each had their own sense of style. Paris was a tomboy. She wasn’t as into fashion as Nicky. In her early teens, she finally became interested. For Nicky, it’s effortless. She’s more conservative. Paris is more creative and dramatic. She’s an artist who dresses for her herself. She can take a $2 plastic ring and make it look great.
Q: With all the functions you’ve been to, have you ever shown up and spotted a woman with the same dress?
Oh my, yes. And I walk up to her and say, “We both have great taste, dear.”
Q: You and your family have a reputation for being philanthropic. You’re very involved in organizations that help raise funds to fight multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and juvenile diabetes, for instance. Why is that important to you?
It doesn’t matter what you do; if you give back, it makes you feel so good. Do a garage sale and donate the proceeds to your local charity. Every year, as a family, we go down to a homeless shelter and play Santa and his helpers. It’s easy to just write a check, but I love the satisfaction of being with people.
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