Exclusive photos and an interview with Paris Hilton about her $65,000 custom Birkin
[Editor’s Note: This week, we’re taking it a little slow to enjoy one of the last weeks of summer, so we’ll have a mix of both new posts and the most popular articles we’ve published in the recent past. This is one of the latter, in case you missed it.]
There are many people I am utterly intrigued by and would love to meet, and Paris Hilton has always been on my list. The celebrity/socialite/mogul is much more than she is portrayed to be, launching more businesses than many of us realize and continuing to remain in the spotlight after many years—a lot of work unto itself. Her persona is bright, cheerful, and over-the-top in many ways. We’ve covered bags that Paris Hilton has carried, but that was many years ago (over eight years, to be exact), when Paris loved carrying Chanel and was spotted with a Louis Vuitton Miroir Alma while vacationing with Kim Kardashian.
But in the past ten years, Paris has changed a lot, launching business after businesses and slowly changing her public persona. She is a entrepreneur, animal lover, newly engaged and entirely in love, and recently became the owner of a rare and customized Hermès Birkin from Privé Porter. Paris’s Rose Tyrien Birkin was customized with thousands of Swarovski crystals, making it truly one-of-a-kind and 100% on brand for Paris. In fact, she told us that if she were a bag, she would be this Birkin, and there is no bag that looks or feels more “Paris Hilton” to me than this exact bag.
We were lucky enough to see this bag before Paris Hilton received it herself because we work closely with Privé Porter to share some of the most interesting and hard-to-find Hermès bags. And when you get a call and someone asks you if you want to see an insane bag, you say yes. The quality is impeccable when it comes to the crystals and their placement on the Birkin, and the bag itself, well—the color is insane.
I spoke to Michelle Berk, founder of Privé Porter, who told me, “This is an idea that I have had a very long time, high quality personalization. Everyone is painting bags.” She went on to tell me, “It ironically came together at the time we heard from Paris. I followed a particular craftsman for some time, I liked the quality and integrity of her work. I like that it’s a female craftsman, too. These things are a total bust if the quality is gimmicky. For the crystals, it took her 60 hours to put 30,000 crystals on it. Think about that: it takes an Hermes craftsman around 45 to make the bag itself.”
There are five different-sized crystals on the bag, so think of it as the most insane jigsaw puzzle without a true pattern. The Rose Tyrien Birkin is a very rare color—Hermès hasn’t used this color in a while—and the team at Privè Porter had this bag in its arsenal for at least a year. The timing was right, as this radical pink Birkin was the perfect fit for Paris Hilton.
When it comes to getting a very rare Birkin and customizing it, Privè Porter is the place to go. Right after Paris’s bag was made, Keyshia Ka’oir had one created as well (a glimpse at hers is included in some of our photos; more info to follow). Read our exclusive interview below and see our photos of the bag, along with a few exclusives Paris took for us.
PB: We’ve followed you for a long time and know you’re a savvy businesswoman, but many people don’t realize that. Tell us about your perfume and accessory business—how big are they, how many countries, what product lines?
Paris: I love being a businesswoman and I am so proud of the empire I have created. I am about to release my 24th fragrance and I have 19 product lines, with every type of product from handbags, clothing, shoes to sunglasses, watches, jewelry, lingerie, makeup, skincare, home ware, pet clothes, accessories and hair products. I have also followed in my family’s footsteps and have my own real estate properties and am branching out to create my own hotel line. It is such an amazing feeling to be such an independent successful businesswoman.
PB: Do you have any plans to go more upscale on any of your brands in the future?
Paris: I love that I can create good quality products for my fans that are at an affordable price. I want my fans to be able to dress and feel like they are a part of my life through my products. But yes, I do plan on coming out with a more high end line.
PB: Let’s talk love! Everyone has been talking about your engagement and love story, including the videos and images. How did you guys meet? Who came up with the hit song and who did the video?
Paris: I met Chris 8 years ago at an Oscar Party at one of the bungalows in the Chateau Marmont. As soon as he walked in, I thought he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. He immediately walked up to me and we hit it off right away. Our friendship eventually led to the love we have today. I wrote the song “I Need You.” I wanted to write the perfect love song for people to listen to and relate to and enjoy with their loved one. My fiance Chris directed the music video, he is so talented.
PB: When are you getting married and tell us what your wedding will be like?!
Paris: I am still trying to plan the date, it is very difficult with my hectic business schedule since I am always traveling and working, but definitely some time this year. I want it to be the most special day of my life, like a fairytale in a Disney movie. There is so much to plan, I am so excited and I cannot wait.
PB: This exquisite custom Birkin: how did you and Privé Porter find each other?
Paris: I was looking through Instagram one day and saw the Privé Porter page. I instantly fell in love with all of the beautiful rare Hermes Birkin bags that they carry.
Since the bling ring broke into my house and stole my Birkin collection, I had been searching for this rare Rose Tyrien colored Birkin and finally found it there. I love it so much! It’s like carrying around a piece of art.
PB: Privé Porter came by and showed the bag to us before you got it, and it’s as if Hermès did it themselves when it comes to the crystals! How do you feel about this Birkin and its quality?
Paris: I am so happy with my new Birkin, it is perfect. If I were a bag, I would be this Birkin. I really wanted it to be special, so they covered it in over 30,000 Swarovski crystals. The quality is amazing. Every time I wear the bag, I get so many compliments and people stopping me on the street asking me where I got it. I am in Love!
PB: In your recent comments, you suggested about the 20 Birkins you lost to the Bling Ring. Most of our readers cannot dream of having 20, let alone losing one. Of them, which one or two were your favorites, and which ones, if any, would you like to replace?
Paris: The Bling Ring stole many things from my home, one of the things I was most upset about, was my collection of 20 Birkins. My favorites were my baby blue Birkin and my favorite classic black Birkin. My new one more than makes up for it.
PB: Aside from Hèrmes, tell us about other designers you like—both classics and contemporary?
Paris: I am a handbag designer as well, so of course I love my Paris Hilton Collection the most. I also love to collect Chanel bags and I am loving the new Gucci collections.
PB: What’s one thing you wish people knew about you but don’t?
Paris: A lot of people don’t know that I am actually a huge tech geek. I am obsessed with technology. I am actually creating my very own Paris Hilton VR world in the VR space which I am super excited about. It is going to be so innovative and a game changer.
PB: The most frustrating preconception people have about you?
Paris: There are so many misconceptions about me. A lot of people got to know me through The Simple Life, where I was playing a character. So if someone does not know me, they assume I am the blonde airhead that I played on the show. I like to be taken seriously as the businesswoman that I am. I don’t like when people underestimate me, but I love proving people wrong.
PB: What’s next for Paris Hilton?
Paris: I am very excited about my new skincare line that is about to be launched. We just released my new Unicorn Mist, which has been incredibly successful and well received, and now the full line is about to be released. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been obsessed with skincare. So I wanted to create a line for women to make their skin beautiful inside and out.
Also, I am about to release my 24th fragrance and it makes me so proud to have been in the fragrance industry for the past 13 years and to have built such a massive fragrance empire for my fans to wear, love and enjoy.
Pets are also a huge passion of mine, so I am also looking forward to releasing my new pet clothes and products for dogs, in which a portion of the sales will be donated to animal charities and shelters.
PB: Considering the job Privé Porter’s craftsman did at your request, do you think this is a sign of where high luxury is going? People wanting to mark their luxury purchases like a fingerprint, to show their unique style? We see so many fashion brands, from Adidas to Hermes, offering special orders and the ability to design unique combinations.
Paris: I have always been before my time and ahead of the curve. I have been bedazzling everything from my phones to my clothes since I was a teenager. I love that Privé Porter was able to customize such high end bags and I think this is definitely the future, where people can make their exclusive designs and customize it to their personality and make it one of a kind and even more special and rare.
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