As has been written before, Jaimie Hilfiger, socialite, fashion icon, emerging designer, Huff Post fashion writer, etc., wants to model her career after Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. She reiterates this in this interview. Go ahead, scoff at her, but you’d be dismissing how ambitious, determined, and talented Hilfiger is.
“I don’t want people to think negatively of this because I’m not ashamed of this, but I really want to model my career after Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton,” says Hilfiger, “Not the negative things they’ve done or the poor choices they’ve made. But what they’ve done with their name and their brand is inspiring. I think they are two smart, strong women.”
Her determination and model-good looks obviously put her in the same category as Paris and Kim in many ways, but one way she certainly differs is how genuine she is. As much as one can tell during a phone conversation, Hilfiger comes off as warm, friendly, and dare I say it, sweet.
We talked about many things including her new collaboration with Tanis designs, Beyoncé, her gig as a fashion writer for the Huffington Post, what she loves about her new home Miami, and the (yes, not kidding) discrimination against fashion-foreword men.
HL: So how are you doing today?
JH: I’m good, just got back from the Beyoncé concert last night.
HL: Oh excellent, I’m going to that with my girlfriend in Jersey in a couple of weeks.
JH: I went with my boyfriend last night, it’s amazing. I’ve seen Beyoncé in concert before but this was exceptional. They played 42 songs!
HL: Oh my god!
JH: It’s unbelievable. I won’t ruin it, even though there’s been a lot written about it.
HL: I wanted to ask you that since you are Tommy Hilfiger’s niece and you’ve been involved with fashion pretty much your entire life, what are your earliest memories of fashion and what drew you to it.
JH: I remember my first runway when I was about nine years old. This was even before Tommy Hilfiger had a women’s line. I remember like it was just yesterday. And I’m 25 years old so it was a while ago. I remember being there in the crowd and taking in the newest and hottest. Since then fashion has become my life.
HL: Did you know you wanted to be a part of fashion from that point on?
JH: I knew that I wanted to be in the fashion and entertainment world somehow. It’s what I loved. I never wanted a normal 9 to 5 career. I just never saw myself with a career like that. That’s just not me, I’m creative and I couldn’t be confined to just one set of principals.
HL: So when you finally did get into it did you get a sense of having to work that much harder to get people to respect you for you and not just for your last name.
JH: Well the last name certainly helped to boost my credibility. But I also work hard to prove myself. I can’t just be the name. I prove myself by being able to identify trends and spot what’s hot.
HL: And you studied broadcasting at the University of Central Florida.
JH: Yeah that was my major when I graduated.
HL: Did you pursue that with having a career in fashion and entertainment in mind.
JH: I went to college because I felt it was the right thing to do. I’m smart but I’m not a genius. I picked a major that I felt could possibly lead me to the television world and the Hollywood lifestyle. But while there I found that the focus of the major was really on hard news. I couldn’t see myself outside taking notes while a tornado was coming. It was beneficial because I learned a lot about reporting. I never would give up my college experience because I was able to do normal things. I learned how to do stuff that normal girls are supposed to do.
HL: Why the move from LA to Miami?
JH: I’ve always had a lot of love for the state of Florida because I went to college here and made so many friends here, and Miami is the best part of the state (laughs). I wanted to come here because it’s still so new and there are so many things coming up. I trust that it’s a really hot place to be right now. I just love the culture is in so many parts of it. I love the fashion down here and I love the art scene as well and I think it’s amazing.
HL: So what are some Miami trends that you approve of and don’t approve of?
JH: I just love how the women down here are always looking their best. It’s a very put together look. They always have so much confidence as well. But also, I just love the warm weather. Even when it’s cold, it’s warm to a New Yorker. And when it’s warm I think you have more liberty to dress the way you want. I love summer fashion and styles and fabrics and patterns more than winter, I feel that there’s more than you can do with it. You can have more fun. When I close my eyes and picture winter wear I see the blacks, the greys, the navys. But when I see Miami I see everything.
HL: So I really like the writing you’ve been doing for the Huffington Post, like the New York vs. LA fashion week, how did that gig come about?
JH: I’m really lucky I get all my stuff done through my publicist who is amazing. But I really love writing. Its bringing something new to what I do.It helps when you enjoy what you’re writing because you can put words down on the paper so easy. I’m a virgo so I’m a planner, always thinking about my next piece. I’ll be in the shower and be like, “That would be a good opening sentence.” It’s not something I planned on but I am so happy to be doing it now because I’m having so much fun.
HL: One thing as a dude, well, a straight dude (laughs) interested in fashion the great thing about moving to a city like New York is I can get away from my hometown and finally do the things I want to do, dress the way I want to dress, and not have to face judgment from my old friends. But once in a while you’ll hear something like, “Men are so overdressed these days,” what do you think about men and their increasing presence in the fashion world?
JH: (laughs) Honestly I love it. I think it’s awesome when men really want to get into looking good, not only their faces but their overall appearances. I know the whole hometown thing that you mentioned is weird. It’s definitely weird for men, but can also be weird for women. We grew up 30 minutes north of New York City and not to put anybody down, but I can’t believe people would actually wear that stuff. That’s not a bitchy comment because because there are so many affordable options out there. I think Zara is great. Top shelf is great. H&M is great. Fashion is accessible to anyone.
HL:I just wanted to talk to you about your collab with Tanis Designs.
JH: Honestly, we met through Twitter. It’s going great. You can shop online so the price is really on point. They have so many trendy designs that are made from such high quality. I would say its high-end costume jewelry without the high end costume price. We are developing a line to be made with power end material to be made with stone and all that. Trendy costume-y jewelry is something that I’ve always loved. They really change your outfit and look.
HL: When you look back on your career, is there anything you want to be defined as? What’s your ultimate goal for your career.
JH: I really want to be remembered, like Kim Kardashian, and Paris Hilton, as a brand. Not like a Gwyneth Paltrow doing a food blog, or like posting what to wear.
HL: And you seem a lot more down to earth than Gwyneth Paltrow,
JH: (laughs) yeah. I want to do things with my brand that are accessible to everyone. I want to do high-end products as well, but I want people from any location to be able to get stuff from me.