She is widely derided as the most lamentably air-headed celebrity of the age, but beneath those golden hair extensions ticks a canny business brain. Here, Chas Newkey-Burden, the author of the new biography Paris Hilton, Life on the Edge, reveals why Paris Hilton
She's been to prison like Martha Stewart. She's launched her own clothing lines, for both people and dogs. She's even been mentioned by Robert Redford as a harbinger of doom for his Sundance Film Festival. (Redford said the event has become "a big fat market where you have people like Paris Hilton going to parties.") But it turns out the true Paris Hilton is actually a business wizard of unparallelled brilliance.
1. When she met the CEO of the Guess fashion line, she wooed him by recounting an encyclopaedic knowledge of company’s history. He signed her up on the spot. (cf: Simon Ambrose in the penultimate week of The Apprentice.)
2. Parlux Fragrances have described her as “a marketers’ dream” and estimated that by signing up her to endorse a perfume range they tripled the company’s value.
3. She got paid $1million to fly to Austria, wave at a crowd and tell them she loves Austria. "But why do you love Austria?" she was asked. “Because they pay me $1million to wave at a crowd,” she smiled. You can’t argue with that.
4. She's lucky. When footage of her having sex leaked onto the internet, propelling her into the headlines, the silver lining was it's timing: shortly before the debut episode of her reality television show The Simple Life.
5. She's lucky more than once. In the week she published a book ‘written’ by her famous dog Tinkerbell, the chihuahua went missing for a few days, putting the book into the media spotlight.
6. She knows which opportunities to decline: “I turn down perverted things, like a Paris Hilton blow-up doll.” One must have one's standards.
7. She's lauded by other businesspeople. A successful real estate magnate - OK, her father Rick – says of her successes: “She hasn’t tried to spread herself too thin.”
8. How many other ‘dumb blondes’ have seen their book spend five weeks on the New York Times best-seller list?
9. She was reportedly recently offered $1 million by The Learning Annex to teach a 60-minute class on “How to Build Your Brand.” This would make her the second-highest paid Annex speaker, behind her friend Donald Trump.
10. She admits that she encourages people to believe she is dumb and “laughs all the way to the bank” as a result.
Celebrity and business