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Not that she ever really left the spotlight, but right now is an excellent time for Paris Hilton to be back under it. The hottest trends in fashion right now are the ones the celebrity heiress popularized as the preeminent style icon of the early 2000s. From velour tracksuits and oversized sunglasses, to low-rise jeans and mini skirts, the outfits she put together — without any help from a stylist — for club-hopping and trips to Kitson are now on everyone's mood board.

Being the savvy businesswoman that she is, Hilton is of course capitalizing on her renewed sartorial relevance: Last Tuesday, she launched her own line of velour tracksuits that immediately sold out online. Then on Wednesday, she launched a range of 2000s-inspired sunglasses and prescription frames with Quay Australia. She celebrated the collaboration on Friday with a blowout party at a Beverly Hills estate, wearing an outfit that could've come straight out of her own early-2000s archives. The chainmail mini dress and choker seemed to reference her 21st-birthday dress, which has been copied by everyone (including Kendall Jenner) in the years since she first wore it. Hilton doesn't mind, though.

"I think that's the ultimate birthday dress," she tells me during a phone interview ahead of the event. "Everyone should wear it on their birthday."

I asked Hilton all about her outsized style influence, the early-aughts trends she will and will not be embracing the second time around, her predictions for what will be in style next, and what we can expect from the NFT aficionado's fashion dealings in the metaverse. Read on for our interview.

Hilton wearing the Total Vibe

Hilton wearing the Total Vibe

What inspired you while working on this line with Quay? Do you have a favorite style?

I was really inspired just by my love of sunglasses. They're my favorite accessory, so I really wanted to create a line that represented me and my favorite styles and also was inspired by the early 2000s. I love all of them but my favorites that I've literally been wearing every day are the black ones, 'Total Vibe.' I love the way they look, the way they feel, and you can wear them day and night. Also the pink ones, they're so girly.

Throughout the fashion weeks we've seen the return of a lot of the early-2000s fashion trends that you popularized. The designer of Blumarine has even cited you as inspiration. How does it feel to be a reference or inspiration to big designers and brands right now?

It makes me feel really proud, I've always felt like I was ahead of my time in many ways and back then I didn't even have a stylist. It was just me picking all my looks out, so just to see designers and people saying I've been an inspiration, it just makes me feel proud. I love fashion, especially brands like Blumarine, which I've always been a fan of. It's always very flattering.

Have you seen any really good or interesting 2000s-inspired looks recently on a celebrity or influencer or anyone where you thought, 'they nailed it'?

Anytime I see anyone in velour tracksuits, that just always reminds of me of me. I launched my tracksuit line yesterday because I wanted to make even more comfortable iconic velour tracksuits, which we sold out right away. That's a look that I see all the time; even on Halloween, a lot of girls will wear that. Or 'Simple Life' style, like Von Dutch, that's coming back now. And my 21st birthday dress — I've seen everyone wear it, so many people. There are so many reiterations of that dress.

paris hilton quay event 4

Have you kept a lot of your clothes and accessories from that time and brought any of it back out?

Yeah I have. I keep a lot of my things just because I want to save them for my daughter one day. Those pieces are just so iconic that I love to keep them. Things I've taken out a lot are the Dior monogram — I love that logomania is back again — a lot of my Louis Vuitton purses, my big giant gold metallic ones, all my sparkly things, anything with lots of Swarovski crystals.

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I also associate you with the low-rise denim craze. Do you remember why you loved that look or where you first saw it? Have you pulled any of those back out?

I remember Frankie B sent me these very low-rise jeans before 'The Simple Life,' then I started rocking them all the time. Then, I was the Guess girl for the Guess campaign, and I was rocking all of the low-rise skirts and the jeans. I embraced that look. It was definitely a look [laughs]. Now, I think the high-rise jeans are sexier and look chic.

So no more low-rise for you?

I'm more into the high waist now, I don't know if I'd rock it again.

You seem to have a knack for predicting trends, what do you think will be popular or come back next?

I'm really into neon — neon pink and yellow and green and bright colors that really stand out — so that's a trend I love that I think's gonna be coming back, especially with music festival season coming up. Obviously velour tracksuits, they're my uniform. That's something that I love that will always be in fashion. With luxury loungewear, people love to be comfortable in something and then also be able to wear it out.

You're also famously into NFTs — do you have any predictions for how NFTs might impact fashion in the coming years?

Definitely, I have my Paris World [metaverse] inside of [gaming platform] Roblox. I actually did the first-ever fashion week of the metaverse during New York Fashion Week. I've been designing digital wearables and building digital fashion brands and it's really exciting what's happening in the space. 

There's all these digital designers now and also the opportunity for brands to come into the metaverse and make products, like Gucci has and lots of other big brands are trying to come in and do the same thing. I just think a lot of people are going to be in the metaverse and with your avatar, you want to be able to dress them up a certain way since that's your online persona. So the opportunities are truly endless when it comes to that and it's just a really exciting thing to be a part of.

Anything else on going on in Paris World?

I’m so excited about this collaboration with Quay and I can't wait to see everyone rocking them. I'm also getting ready to release my 30th perfume.

Shop the Quay X Paris Hilton collection in the gallery below.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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