By Katrina Caspelich
Crazy busy hitting the fashion-designer high notes—bag designer, clothing designer, and now jewelry designer—Nicky Hilton recently sat down with us to discuss her latest venture, the Nicky Hilton Collection. This L.A.-based socialite-about-town and sister of Paris just launched her own designer jewelry line. Her fashion-forward necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings work with styles from edgy to classic. Nicky also reveals some of her must-have winter items, go-to fashion pieces, and favorite places to shop in NYC.
Katrina Caspelich: When did you discover your love for fashion?
Nicky Hilton: I was drawn to fashion at a very young age. I was always going through my mother’s closet, trying on her jewelry and shoes.
KC: When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?
NH: I did a lot of modeling as a teenager, and my favorite part of it was dressing up in all the beautiful clothes. It was always a dream to design my own collection.
KC: As a designer, what inspires you?
NH: I’m constantly inspired by other fashionable women. The glamorous style of Elizabeth Taylor was a huge influence for my jewelry collection.
KC: You were a handbag and clothing designer. Why jewelry?
NH: Jewelry is so much fun to design because it’s such an investment for a woman’s wardrobe. Clothing trends come and go so quickly, but jewelry is something you keep forever. It’s timeless.
KC: What is your favorite piece?
NH: I love the Bryant Park ring with the turquoise stone. It’s the perfect statement piece. I mix it with my fine jewelry and diamonds, and people always think it’s one of those super-expensive pieces!
Buy Nicky Hilton Bryant Park Ring, $198, at endless.com
KC: What is the price point of your jewelry line?
NH: Pieces range from $70 to $960.
KC: Who would you love to see in your jewelry?
NH: Women whose style I admire, like Gwen Stefani and Sarah Jessica Parker. They’re such risk takers on the red carpet, and they always have the coolest accessories.
KC: What type of person do you design for?
NH: When designing the collection, I kept in mind that I wanted to design for women of all different styles, so there’s something for everyone—edgy, classic, and contemporary.
KC: Who are your favorite designers?
NH: I love Balmain, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, and Prada.
KC: Who in the fashion industry inspires you?
NH: Diane von Furstenberg is very inspiring to me. She has been in the industry forever and
has gracefully maintained an incredible balance of family and work. Her brand has expanded so much over the last few years—fragrance, luggage, footwear, eyewear, swimwear, etc. She has really built a lifestyle brand.
KC: What is your favorite thing to wear?
NH: My daily uniform pretty much consists of skinny jeans, a leather jacket, ballet flats, and a couple of my jewelry pieces.
Buy Paige Verdugo Jegging, $179, at paigeusa.com
Buy Repetto BB Patent Ballet Flats, $310, at kirnazabete.com
Buy Nicky Hilton Soho Sterling Silver Bypass Spike Bangle with CZ, $250, at amazon.com
KC: Where do you like to shop?
NH: When I go to New York, I always make it a point to go to Bergdorf Goodman for lunch and some shopping. I’m also loving the new Isabel Marant boutique in Soho.
KC: What is your must-have fashion item this winter?
NH: Great booties! My favorites this season are from Tory Burch and Louis Vuitton.
Buy Tory Burch Cidnay Suede Platform Booties, $350, at shopbop.com
KC: What fashion item should we all own—and splurge on?
NH: A quality leather jacket. Rick Owens makes the best ones.
Buy Rick Owens Laced Leather Biker Jacket, $2,480, at net-a-porter.com
KC: What look makes you feel most confident?
NH: A short, sexy black dress. What girl doesn’t feel good in an LBD?
Buy Theory Mickie Fitted Knit Dress, $249, at saksfifthavenue.com
KC: Name your favorite vacation purchase.
NH: My Hermes Kelly bag that I bought in St. Barts. The bags are hard to find, so I was lucky when I came across a black leather one with silver hardware. I couldn’t pass it up!
KC: What 5 things can’t you live without?
NC: Water, my Blackberry, Rosebud lip salve, my boyfriend, and my kitties.
Buy Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith’s Rosebud Salve, $6, at sephora.com