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Exclusive Interview: Nicky Hilton, StyleBistro Celebrity Guest Editor

Nicky+Hilton in Manny Pacquiao v Shane Mosley
Nicky Hilton (Getty Images)more pics » Nicky Hilton
A certain other heiress may sometimes steal the spotlight, but younger sister Nicky Hilton is also a bona fide entrepreneur and style maven—in fact, she takes the fashion thing even more seriously than Paris. Nicky launched a debut collection back in 2004, then a second in 2007; these days, she's busy dreaming up beautiful baubles for her jewelry line, Nicholai by Nicky Hilton.

Inspired by Art Deco designs and her mother's jewels, Nicholai is a luxe line of sparklers with Nicky's citywise edge. But don't take it from us. Ask Nicky herself, who recently sat down with StyleBistro to give us the skinny on her favorite pieces, beauty musts and how to shop vintage treasures like a pro.

Check out the excerpt of our interview with Nicky Hilton below, or catch up on her fashion and beauty tips here!

SB: As a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always knew I wanted to do something in fashion, whether design...or work at a fashion magazine or a store. I love the whole world of it—the shoes, the bags, the clothes, accessories, everything. Most kids at that age are confused, but I always knew.

SB: Tell us about Nicholai. Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
It's very Art Deco–inspired. I love that whole era and aesthetic—my house is very much influenced by it as well. I'm really loving the big turquoise and coral cocktail rings. I just think they're very pretty statement rings.

SB: What was it like growing up with Paris? Did you steal each other's clothes?
When we were young, my mom bought us everything matching. So we dressed the same until about 12, when we told our mother 'No more! We're buying our own stuff.'

SB: How does your style differ from Paris' style?
What's funny about Paris is she will just buy whatever, she just does not care. She's not into designer stuff per se, she just buys what she likes which I think is cute. But yeah, we're definitely different. She loves all the glitter and embellishment and bright colors...My mom has all this amazing vintage, like Zandra Rhodes and Alaia. Paris doesn't really appreciate that stuff. So when my mom offers it to her, she's like, 'No, just give it to Nicky.' I get to score.
SB: You're a known fan of vintage fashion. Any secrets for finding fab vintage treasures?
It's all about digging. I usually find a lot of cute vintage stuff but it doesn't fit well, so altering is key for me. I alter basically everything. There are all these really beautiful dresses, but some of them are really long so I'll chop them and make them into minis...I love this [shop in LA] called Shabon; Wasteland has some cool things sometimes; Foley + Corinna in New York has some cool vintage pieces.
SB: Where are your favorite current designers and places to shop?
I love department stores. I love Bergdorfs in New York—I could spend all day in there. The cafe, and just roaming around, they have every designer under one roof. Intermix has a lot of great stuff too, and Maxfield in LA. I love Isabel Marant, Alaia, Celine, Opening Ceremony.

SB: What one item should every woman have in her closet?
I would say a great pair of skinny jeans, because you can really dress them up at night with a great pair of heels, or wear them during the day with flats. I love the J Brand ones, the 10-inch.

SB: What are you wearing this summer?
I love all the colored denim—J Brand does some great ones. I like bellbottom jeans, wedges, the colorblock style. I got some really cute cork wedges from Christian Louboutin, and I got some vintage kimonos from that vintage store in La Brea—Golyester. It's a few doors down from American Rag.

SB: What is your ultimate fashion Don't?
Birkenstocks. I don't care how comfortable they are, they are so hideous. And ohmigod, with socks, they're just beyond. Not okay. Never acceptable.

SB: What's your best piece of style advice?
I hate when I see a girl wearing 10 trends at once. I think it looks cheesy, like you put way too much effort into it. Pick one trend.

SB: Do you work with a stylist?
No, I never have. I don't understand these people—I mean, unless you're a really big movie star. I have so much fun shopping for myself, I can't imagine paying someone to do that for me. I don't get it.

Get more fashion and beauty scoop from Nicky Hilton here:


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