Paris Hilton Takes Copenhagen

Hilton launches handbag line at Fashion Fair.

Paris Hilton in the spoof video.

Copenhagen is turning into Paris’ fashion week with the appearance of Paris Hilton at the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair Thursday.

This story first appeared in the August 8, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Hilton arrived surrounded by bodyguards, photographers and fans who had waited for hours at the Paris Hilton stand, where she signed handbags from her latest line and posed for photos with look-alikes wearing matching Paris Hilton T-shirts. 

Such scenes have been repeating themselves across the city all week — when the celebutante’s not in the studio shooting her handbag campaign. Outside her hotel, where local journalists have checked in to be close to the star, fans have waited outside all day for a glimpse, with shrieks of “I love you, Paris,” when she’s appeared.

Meanwhile, there was chaos when Hilton and her beau, Good Charlotte band member Benji Madden, headed to the Tivoli Gardens amusement park, which Hilton cites as the highlight of her Danish sojourn so far. “I went on one roller coaster, like, three times in a row,” she said.

But this is very much a business trip. Hilton’s outfits have included yellow heels from her own shoe line paired with a strappy blue dress from her clothing collection, while one of her new handbags is worn in such a way that it makes it into every single photograph.

Indeed, the celebrity, whose bags are licensed to the Danish firm PH Europe, takes a very hands-on approach to the business. “We’re opening, like, 400 doors only for the handbags worldwide,” she said. “We’re opening everywhere.”

In October, PH Europe will introduce a new retail concept designed to take the Hilton brand to the next level. The shop-in-shops, dubbed “Enter my world,” feature a minimalist white and pink decor with a back wall emblazoned with a giant photo of Hilton, while the floor includes a runway under the banner, “Join me on the catwalk.” Other categories include “Share my accessories” and “Open my jewelry box.” The corners could even be adapted to include Hilton’s other lines, such as fragrances and apparel, according to Peter Bur, the retail design strategist behind the concept.

The brand’s consumers range in age from 13 to 20 in Europe, while in the Middle East and Asia, fans go up to 30. “She is an icon,” said PH Europe brand director Jens Gregersen. “Of course you have ups and downs, but she gets back on her feet.”

Next up is a reality TV show, which airs next month, called “Paris Hilton Is My New Best Friend,” plus a new album out the same month. “I love Kylie Minogue, so it’s very inspired by her,” Hilton said. “It’s very dance music. My last album was more hip-hop.” A new fragrance called Fairy Dust is also in the offing.