Paris Hilton wants to be the “Queen of the Metaverse”
Hilton attends the invitation-only party in person every year, but this particular scene took place last month at Paris World, Hilton’s virtual experience on popular gaming platform Roblox, where she joined as an avatar. Nearly 400,000 Roblox users visited its virtual Neon Carnival this mid-April weekend, about 40 times the number who went in real life this year, according to Hilton. (The digital event was sponsored by Levi’s and designed in part by Brent Bolthouse, the founder of the original Neon Carnival).
It’s a concept that Hilton has already had success with. On New Year’s Eve, she DJs a live set in the same virtual world, performing as her avatar. In Paris World, users can also buy virtual clothes, book a jet ski ride or pay to access a VIP section of a club.
“I’ve always been an undercover nerd, so I’ve been obsessed with all things tech and the future,” Hilton told CNN Business in an interview last month. “Now my new nickname is ‘Queen of the Metaverse,'” she added, referring to a moniker she’s used on the red carpet and in a number of her social media posts, which , according to his company 11:11 Media, first appeared in the NFT space on Twitter.
Hilton has long been a pioneer. She arguably became an influencer before the term even existed after her reality TV show, “The Simple Life,” debuted in 2003. But Hilton, the great-granddaughter of the lifestyle mogul the Conrad Hilton hotel business, also worked to redefine her public image as a successful businesswoman and solidify her status as an innovator.
Recently, it has embraced two buzzing but speculative trends in technology: the metaverse, a vision of an immersive virtual world that still does not exist; and non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs, which refer to pieces of digital content tied to the blockchain, the digital ledger system that underpins various cryptocurrencies.
Its bet on these digital products and services is just one element of Hilton’s growing empire. Last fall, Hilton brought all of its initiatives together under 11:11 Media. The company includes its 19 product lines, such as fragrance, apparel and makeup, which have exceeded $4 billion in all-time revenue, according to the company. It also includes his production company Slivington Manor Entertainment – which is behind TV projects such as “Cooking with Paris” and “Paris Hilton in Love” – and his podcast company London Audio.
“We are growing rapidly and want to find talent in people who are interested in this space,” Hilton said. To that end, Hilton is partnering with ZipRecruiter, an online platform for job seekers, to add more employees to its roster. 11:11 The media is soon launching a contest for someone to win a mentorship program with her in Los Angeles to learn many aspects of running her business.
“Mentoring is also something very important to me. My mentor was my grandfather,” she said of the late Barron Hilton, the business mogul who was the former chairman, president and CEO of management of Hilton Hotels Corporation. “It’s just all the advice he gave me and the support that really stuck with me throughout my career. I want to be able to do this for someone else.”
A voice for NFTs
“I then found myself on sites like Clubhouse during the pandemic talking to artists from around the NFT world and meeting leaders in the space,” she said. “I became obsessed with it and started collaborating with artists. … It’s something I really believe in.”
The price of Bitcoin – the largest cryptocurrency – fell below $30,000 at the start of the month and has struggled to break above that level ever since. It remains down more than 50% from its record high in November. Other cryptocurrencies have also been hit hard in recent weeks.
“These have usually been associated with cryptocurrencies where fame gets the hype and then when people invest in them, they turn around and sell their currency for a profit,” Inouye said. “It speaks to the less savory side of any NFT-blockchain-crypto, which is at least partly driven by hype and speculation.”
Hilton said she was careful not to give advice on what people should buy, noting that she was only interested in NFTs to “support artists” and “not for investment reasons”. .
A change in public perception
“The documentary changed my life in every way,” she said. “For so long people had so many misconceptions about me because of the character I was playing…almost like a coping mechanism. Now they understand who I really am and what I’ve been through. I’m not not a dumb blonde. I’m just really good at pretending to be one.”
“I will forever be grateful to ‘The Simple Life’ because it really helped launch my brand and all of my businesses. But there is so much more to me,” she said. “I want to be known and respected for the businesswoman that I am, the company and the brand that I have created and for being an advocate for children who have suffered abuse and trauma than myself and so many others have suffered.”
Hilton said she continues to look for new ways to innovate online and offline, grow her NFT collection, and help others grow their own brands.
“It’s amazing now with technology available to everyone in their living room – whether they have wifi, an iPhone or whatever they’re capturing their content on – they’re able to build a brand, support their families , to be expressing yourself and expressing yourself in this way,” she said. “It makes me proud to have created this new kind of stardom. … I love being an innovator and someone who is first in things. It’s just amazing to see what it turned into.”