NEW YORK — Ubiquitous starlet Paris Hilton is going to be learning several new positions this year — those of licensing powerhouse, big-screen star and product spokeswoman.
In addition to delving into a new venture as a three-year spokeswoman for The Hollywood Prescription, a new lip exfoliating system, Hilton told WWD Tuesday she is planning a licensing blitz that will include a women’s apparel line, shoes, color cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners, skin care and men’s fragrance — “basically, everything out there,” she said with a soft chuckle. No word on lingerie deals, however.
Hilton — who was making a public appearance on behalf of the $29.99 two-step lip treatment system, which will launch via the Internet and direct mail this month — will also help develop future products in that line, said H. Thomas Tadayon, chief executive officer of the Southern California-based brand. He said he wants that range to include toners, face washes and other “mass market-level cosmeceuticals, as the market opportunities are huge there,” he said.
Hilton appeared nervous while speaking at the podium, but was sweet and cordial during one-on-one conversations afterward. “I’m shy [about speaking to large groups],” she said.
Hilton didn’t reveal partners or launch dates for her planned licenses, save for her men’s fragrance, which, if she has her way, could be dubbed “That’s Hot” after her signature catchphrase. She’ll develop the fragrance with Parlux, which also makes and markets her eponymous women’s scent. She’s especially looking forward to the color cosmetics development process — “I love makeup, especially lip gloss and eye shadow,” she said. Glitter and lengthening mascara are also likely to be part of the Hilton color oeuvre.
While it’s likely that Hilton will at least give Parlux first rights of refusal on future beauty projects, Parlux has also shown interest in expanding into nonbeauty-related categories — and last week inked a deal to produce Hilton’s upcoming watch line, which is expected to be on counter later this year. It’s not out of the question that other nonbeauty Hilton products could come via Parlux.
Tadayon “didn’t consider anyone else” as spokeswoman for his line, he said. “Paris just embodies everything that we wanted for this product — the glamour of Hollywood and her worldwide stardom,” he said. “There wasn’t a backup. She was the only one we wanted for this.”
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One of Tadayon’s employees, a friend of Hilton’s, gave her samples to try, which she shared with her sister, Nicky; her mother, Kathy, and her “The Simple Life” co-star, Nicole Richie. “We were doing [the show], we were on a Greyhound Bus and we were all trying it out,” Hilton said. “Everyone was like, ‘My lips are really growing.’ It looks like you got your lips done, which is cool. It’s like surgery in a bottle.”
That’s a point that Dana Anderson, a New York dermatologist who is also flogging the brand, emphasized: “If you don’t want to pay $800 every two months to get your lips done, this is the product for you,” she said, adding that the product’s key element is a peptide that gives the thin skin covering lips the ability to bind to and retain water molecules. “It’s like shampoo and conditioner for the lips. And it’s gentle enough so that you can use it a few times a day if you want to.” First, lips are exfoliated to remove dead skin, then covered with the peptide-enhanced serum, which the brand claims enhances lip size and color in 30 days by stimulating blood circulation to the area.
Hilton is also appearing in national advertising for Guess, Marciano and T Mobile, marketing a fine jewelry line with Amazon.com and filming several feature films. While she said on Tuesday that she’s always stayed in shape by dancing, not to mention running around doing deals, she does acknowledge that all of her new projects may tie her to a desk for numerous hours a day.
“I think I need to get a trainer,” she said.
By Julie Naughton and Bryn Kenny